In line with its objectives of providing world class services to athletes, Aspetar, along with our internationally acclaimed collaborators, are working towards helping treat, and ultimately overcome, the numerous spine, back and neck-related conditions that are prevalent in this group.
After extensive research and in consultation with the world’s leading authorities on the management of spinal pain in both elite athletes and the non-sporting public alike, Aspetar has ascertained that no clinic in the world is currently conducting all aspects of a multi-disciplinary approach for best practice for this substantial group of individuals.
To fill this void, and to develop a high level of expertise in this challenging area, Aspetar’s planned Spine Centre is the result of nearly 3 years of extensive discussion and collaboration with renowned experts, and aims to provide immediate access to assess and manage back pain.
Before the decision on whether to build a dedicated spinal clinic is made, an interim Spine Centre is proposed to open by December 2015 within the existing facilities at Aspetar. At this time it will operate with reduced scope, with priority being given to locally registered and regional athletes.
While there are many groups around the world that have offered potential solutions to the ever increasing problem of spinal pain, Aspetar, through discussions with our knowledgeable specialist collaborators, have planned to use an evidence-based, targeted management approach to treat spinal pain in both athletes and non-athletes alike that will be predominantly conservative as per current best practice guidelines.
The first step of this approach involves an initial triage to screen for a specific pathology. The next step, termed Classification-Based Cognitive Functional Therapy (CB-CFT), then addresses the remaining 90-95% of patients by determining which cognitive, functional and lifestyle factors they present with, as opposed to just treating the symptom of pain itself. Depending on the individual, the assessment may include expert examinations from clinicians from several fields of expertise, such as medical imaging and biomechanical analysis of sporting techniques.
Following this athlete specific examination, a collaborative plan involving all relevant stakeholders will be tailored and delivered in a systematically comprehensive manner. In addition, a range of allied health disciplines, including surgery, sports medicine, medical imaging, neurology, physiotherapy, psychology, biomechanics and exercise therapy, will provide input into patient treatment.
In the significantly challenging areas where evidence remains limited, Aspetar proposes to establish pathways where individuals requiring care and providing consent will have his, or her, results included in on-going research to drive the process of continual improvement of procedures.
By developing high-level expertise in this area, Aspetar’s Spine Centre, in collaboration with its internationally lauded experts, will become a regional leader in clinical training and will have the world’s leading multidisciplinary athlete-centered spinal pain centre.