Video Interview: Dr. Thomas Schuler

Dr. Thomas Schuler is the CEO and Founder of the Virginia Spine Institute and the Chairman of the Medical and Scientific Board for the National Spine Health Foundation. We were honored to speak with him in this interview to kick of Spine Health Awareness Month in October!

Dr. Thomas Schuler

Dr. Schuler is also a distinguished fellow in both the American College of Spine Surgery and the American College of Surgeons. He is a member of the North American Spine Society and the U.S. Capital Chapter of the World Presidents’ Organization.

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In this conversation, we discuss why Dr. Schuler is so passionate about spine, how he empathizes with patients having had multiple surgeries himself, and what we can all look forward to for the future of innovation, recovery, and options. Check out that conversation here:

Spine Health Awareness Month

Spine Health Awareness Month is observed each year as a public reminder of how important spinal health is. As we often remind folks, 100 million Americans suffer from back or neck pain, and are four times more likely to suffer from clinical depression.

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Spine health isn’t just about the body, but also the mind. We believe increasing awareness, advocacy, education, and options for patients is the key to finding pain relief, lowering healthcare costs, and helping create a healthier and happier America.

Back and Neck Pain Available Treatments

As we spoke about with Dr. Schuler, there are so many treatments available for various kinds of back and neck pain. If you are looking for answers, check out this comprehensive list.

Non-Surgical Treatment

  • Acupuncture: The stimulation of anatomical points on the body using various techniques.
  • Aquatic Therapy:  Aquatic therapy assists in developing core strength and can support pain reduction and healing.
  • Chiropractic:  A qualified, reputable chiropractor can be used under certain circumstances to assist in back and neck pain treatment.
  • Ice or Heat?: Choosing between ice and heat for injuries depends on the type of injury and also personal preferences.
  • Injections: Injections performed by a specialists can result in pain reduction without surgical intervention.
  • Medications: Different types of medications can assist in spinal pain alleviation, although are not a singular treatment option.
  • Physical Therapy: Inflammation management, improved mobility, and return to functional movement are all part of physical therapy.
  • Regenerative Therapy: Allows the body to heal from within by rejuvenating and regenerating cells, replacing damaged tissue, and restoring function.

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Surgical Treatment

  • Deciding to have Surgery: Determine if surgery is the path for you.
  • Preparing for Surgery:  A guide for patients on what to do to making surgery easier and less stressful.
  • Artificial Disc Replacement:  An artificial disc is designed to closely replicate a real disc and its functions.
  • Fusion: The joining of two vertebrae in the spine.
  • Laminotomy/Laminectomy: Surgery performed to alleviate pressure on spinal nerves and/or spinal cord.
  • Laminoplasty:  Surgery which allows more room to the spinal cord in the neck when it is compressed by disc material, bone spurs, or ligaments.
  • Microdisectomy:  With a small incision, professionals are able to alleviate nerve pain.
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery:  Technical innovations and advances allow surgeons to perform less invasive surgery resulting in quicker recoveries and less complications in patients.

Want more expert thoughts? Check out our Spine-Talks™ archive!