Vertos Medical and The Harris Poll Share Research Abstract at AAPOR Conference
July 13, 2023
For individuals of any age, mobility is a central wellness indicator that can dramatically impact quality of life. Limited mobility may impact not only physical health and fitness, but also a wide variety of quality-of-life measures, including mental and emotional well-being, social engagement, and access to cultural and recreational experiences.
Despite the importance of mobility, large-scale research that demonstrated how limited mobility due to chronic low back pain (CLBP) impacts patients — relative to their non-CLBP peers — did not exist until recently.
To help more patients suffering from CLBP improve their mobility and quality of life, Vertos Medical, in partnership with leaders in interventional pain management, joined forces with The Harris Poll to understand and educate the public about its impact.
Through their groundbreaking work, an entirely new quality-of-life metric, known as the Mobility Index, was developed. This index can help patients suffering from CLBP understand how their mobility compares to others in their age group who do not experience CLBP.
By combining self-reported data on physical abilities, mobility-related statements, and the completion of everyday tasks, the poll results and Mobility Index offer never-before-available perspectives on how extensively CLBP impacts individuals’ quality of life.
On May 11, 2023, Edward “Paul” Johnson, Vice President of Advanced Analytics from The Harris Poll, and Peter Pryzbylkowski, MD, interventional pain specialist, presented an abstract about the poll data and Mobility Index, “Getting America Mobile: Ways to Improve American Quality of Life,” at the 78th annual American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) conference.
During the session, the presenters outlined 3 primary goals that guided the development of the survey:
To establish an index of the average American’s mobility that could be tracked over time.
To assess the impact of CLBP on mobility and quality of life compared to other common chronic conditions.
To measure awareness of treatment options for CLBP, lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) in particular, and how patients can overcome barriers to treatment.
Behind the Mobility Index: Methodology and Findings
To gauge the impact of a range of health conditions on mobility, including chronic low back pain, a survey was conducted across a diverse sample of over 5,000 adults from non-probability, opt-in panels in the United States.
The collected data was carefully weighted by various demographic factors such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, region, education, household income, household size, and marital status to ensure its representativeness according to the 2021 Current Population Survey.
Among the several health conditions investigated, CLBP emerged as the most prominent cause of decreased mobility, even surpassing prevalent conditions such as anxiety, arthritis, and obesity.
Mobility Through the Decades
In addition to its utility in measuring mobility and quality of life, the Mobility Index was designed to show patients living with CLBP how they could be moving through the decades of life differently if chronic low back or leg pain was not a limiting factor.
Over- and Under-Utilization of Alternative Treatments
Another concerning disparity revealed in the study was between the prevalence of chronic low back pain and the effectiveness of the most commonly utilized treatment or pain management options.
According to the survey results, up to 15 percent of individuals with CLBP were still relying on opioids , despite updated guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) emphasizing their limited effectiveness and inherent risks.*
Another significant finding was that a mere 5 percent of individuals with CLBP had utilized minimally invasive lumbar decompression treatment options such as the mild® Procedure, despite research indicating that these procedures are highly effective and should be considered earlier in the treatment process.
Raising Awareness Through the Mobility Matters Survey
The findings of the Mobility Matters survey were instrumental not only in the development of the Mobility Index but in starting a national public health conversation that spreads awareness about the impacts of CLBP and quality of life.
According to the survey, physicians appear to discuss osteoarthritis or aging as potential causes of CLBP more often than lumbar spinal stenosis, particularly the enlarged ligament that can cause LSS.
By raising awareness about LSS among providers and providing education on the treatment options available for patients suffering from the condition, more patients could get on the path to lasting relief sooner.
“What we found [through the survey] was that CLBP was really a limiting factor when it came to the ability for patients to walk and stand for a prolonged period of time,” Dr. Pryzbylkowski said.
“And that’s important because there are board-certified physicians like myself who treat chronic low back pain on a daily basis. And we just want to bring education and awareness to the general public that there are treatment options for CLBP.”
Through the insights gathered in the Mobility Matters survey, patients, healthcare providers, and policymakers can all gain greater knowledge about the effectiveness of alternative treatment options, the risks associated with opioid use, and the importance of early intervention for CLBP.
Learn more about the Mobility Index and Mobility Matters survey at:
Benyamin RM, Staats PS, MiDAS ENCORE Investigators. mild® is an effective treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication: MiDAS ENCORE Randomized Controlled Trial. Pain Physician. 2016;19(4):229-242.
Mekhail N, Costandi S, Abraham B, Samuel SW. Functional and patient-reported outcomes in symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis following percutaneous decompression. Pain Pract. 2012;12(6):417-425. doi:10.1111/j.1533-2500.2012.00565.x.
2012 data from Health Market Sciences report for Vertos Medical 2013.
Data on file with Vertos Medical.
Staats PS, Chafin TB, Golvac S, et al. Long-term safety and efficacy of minimally invasive lumbar decompression procedure for the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication: 2-year results of MiDAS ENCORE. Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2018;43:789-794. doi:10.1097/AAP.0000000000000868.
Based on mild® Procedure data collected in all clinical studies. Major complications are defined as dural tear and blood loss requiring transfusion.
MiDAS ENCORE responder data. On file with Vertos Medical.
Jain S, Deer TR, Sayed D, et al. Minimally invasive lumbar decompression: a review of indications, techniques, efficacy and safety. Pain Manag. 2020;10(5). https://doi.org/10.2217/pmt-2020-0037. Accessed June 1, 2020.
Deer TR, Grider JS, Pope JE, et al. The MIST Guidelines: the Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Consensus Group guidelines for minimally invasive spine treatment. Pain Pract. 2019;19(3)250-274. doi:10.1111/papr.12744.
Hansson T, Suzuki N, Hebelka H, Gaulitz A. The narrowing of the lumbar spinal canal during loaded MRI: the effects of the disc and ligamentum flavum. Eur Spine J. 2009;18(5):679-686. doi:10.1007/s00586-009-0919-7.
Treatment options shown are commonly offered once conservative therapies (e.g., physical therapy, pain medications, chiropractic) are not providing adequate relief. This is not intended to be a complete list of all treatments available. Doctors typically recommend treatments based on their safety profile, typically prioritizing low risk/less aggressive procedures before higher risk/more aggressive procedures, but will determine which treatments are appropriate for their patients.
Although the complication rate for the mild® Procedure is low, as with most surgical procedures, serious adverse events, some of which can be fatal, can occur, including heart attack, cardiac arrest (heart stops beating), stroke, and embolism (blood or fat that migrates to the lungs or heart). Other risks include infection and bleeding, spinal cord and nerve injury that can, in rare instances, cause paralysis. This procedure is not for everyone. Physicians should discuss potential risks with patients. For complete information regarding indications for use, warnings, precautions, and methods of use, please reference the devices’Instructions for Use.
Patient stories on this website reflect the results experienced by individuals who have undergone the mild® Procedure. Patients are not compensated for their testimonial. The mild® Procedure is intended to treat lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) caused by ligamentum flavum hypertrophy. Although patients may experience relief from the procedure, individual results may vary. Individuals may have symptoms persist or evolve or other conditions that require ongoing medication or additional treatments. Please consult with your doctor to determine if this procedure is right for you.
Reimbursement, especially coding, is dynamic and changes every year. Laws and regulations involving reimbursement are also complex and change frequently. Providers are responsible for determining medical necessity and reporting the codes that accurately describe the work that is done and the products and procedures that are furnished to patients. For this reason, Vertos Medical strongly recommends that you consult with your payers, your specialty society, or the AMA CPT regarding coding, coverage and payment.
Vertos Medical cannot guarantee coding, coverage, or payment for products or procedures. View our Billing Guide.
Vertos is an equal employment opportunity workplace committed to pursuing and hiring a diverse workforce. We strive to grow our team with highly skilled people who share our culture and values. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, age, color, race, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical & mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law.
Hall S, Bartleson JD, Onofrio BM, Baker HL Jr, Okazaki H, O’Duffy JD. Lumbar spinal stenosis. Clinical features, diagnostic procedures, and results of surgical treatment in 68 patients. Ann Intern Med. 1985;103(2):271-275. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-103-2-271.
Kalichman L, Cole R, Kim DH, et al. Spinal stenosis prevalence & association with symptoms: The Framingham Study. Spine J. 2009;9(7):545-550. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2009.03.005.
Fukusaki M, Kobayashi I, Hara T, Sumikawa K. Symptoms of spinal stenosis do not improve after epidural steroid injection. Clin J Pain. 1998;14(2):148-151. doi:10.1097/00002508-199806000-00010.
Mekhail N, Costandi S, Nageeb G, Ekladios C, Saied O. The durability of minimally invasive lumbar decompression procedure in patients with symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis: Long-term follow-up [published online ahead of print, 2021 May 4]. Pain Pract. 2021;10.1111/papr.13020. doi:10.1111/papr.13020
Friedly JL, Comstock BA, Turner JA, et al. Long-Term Effects of Repeated Injections of Local Anesthetic With or Without Corticosteroid for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: A Randomized Trial. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2017;98(8):1499-1507.e2. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2017.02.029
Pope J, Deer TR, Falowski SM. A retrospective, single-center, quantitative analysis of adverse events in patients undergoing spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication using a novel percutaneous direct lumbar decompression strategy. J Pain Res. 2021;14:1909-1913. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S304997
Pryzbylkowski P, Bux A, Chandwani K, et al. Minimally invasive direct decompression for lumbar spinal stenosis: impact of multiple prior epidural steroid injections [published online ahead of print, 2021 Aug 4]. Pain Manag. 2021;10.2217/pmt-2021-0056. doi:10.2217/pmt-2021-0056
Abstract presented at: American Society of Pain and Neuroscience Annual Conference; July 22-25, 2021; Miami Beach, FL.
Mobility Matters: Low Back Pain in America, Harris Poll Survey, 2022. View data and full summary at knowyourbackstory.com.
Deer TR, Grider JS, Pope JE, et al. Best Practices for Minimally Invasive Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Treatment 2.0 (MIST): Consensus Guidance from the American Society of Pain and Neuroscience (ASPN). J Pain Res. 2022;15:1325-1354. Published 2022 May 5. doi:10.2147/JPR.S355285.