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In the November 14th Wall Street Journal, UNC Anesthesiology Vice Chair of Research Matt Mauck, MD, PhD, was one of several chronic pain researchers interviewed on new approaches to treating chronic low-back pain (cLBP) with more effective, less expensive non-surgical interventions. Mauck spoke to the WSJ drew from his experience as UNC’s Site P.I. for the NIH-funded Back Pain Consortium (BACPAC) Research Program, a network of 14 study sites nationwide launched to test a variety of novel approaches that enable comprehensive clinical assessment and optimal treatment planning for patients living with cLBP. BACPAC is part of the NIH’s broader HEAL initiative aimed at reducing opioid abuse and addiction through improving the understanding, treatment and management of chronic pain. 

In the WSJ article, Mauck overviewed how BACPAC sites are testing the effectiveness of four nonsurgical treatments tailored to personal traits unique to each patient. Results of the BACPAC initiative are aimed at equipping pain management providers with tools for personalizing treatment plans that address physical, emotional and psychological traits in individual patients that influence the pain they are experiencing.

As a physician scientist Mauck provides comprehensive pain management to patients he treats for cLBP at the UNC Pain Management Center. He noted to the WSJ: “Low-back pain can be a sign of something life-threatening, such as cancer, or a severe spine condition that requires surgery. As a result, chronic low-back pain needs to be fully evaluated, “Once ‘red flags’ are eliminated, doctors need a more precise way to determine what will work for individual patients.”

To read the full November 14th article featuring Dr. Mauck’s expertise, click here.