Welcome to Cleveland Clinic Online Health Chats

Get answers to your health questions and concerns. It's easy to be part of our live chat events, led by Cleveland Clinic physicians and health professionals.

Ask the Experts: Chronic Back Pain
Monday, September 16, 2013 - 12 Noon (Eastern Time)

Sign up for this chat today.Register Now

Click Join Chat to join the chat in progress.You will be asked to login if you aren't already logged in.Join Chat

Daniel Leizman, MD

  • Anesthesiology Institute
  • Department of Pain Management
  • Cleveland Clinic

Santhosh Thomas, DO, MBA

  • Neurological Institute
  • Center for Spine Health
  • Cleveland Clinic

Eighty to 90 percent of people in the United States will suffer from back pain at some time during their lives. Back pain is the second most common reason people visit their family doctors.

On any given day, almost 2 percent of the entire United States workforce is disabled by back pain. It is the cause of enormous healthcare expenses.

Many back disorders can be evaluated and treated successfully by a primary care doctor. However, for severe or persistent pain, evaluation by a medical spine or pain management specialist is recommended. Warning signs that should prompt urgent medical evaluation include the presence of fever, worsening pain, progressive movement of the pain from the back into the leg, numbness in the area of the injury or down the leg, presence of a lump or area with an unusual shape, and pain that is unrelieved at rest or disturbs sleep.

Take this opportunity and have your questions answered by our specialists, Daniel Leizman, MD and Santhosh Thomas, DO, MBA. Drs. Leizman and Thomas will discuss different types and causes of back pain, how pain affects quality of life, ways to measure pain, and how best to communicate your experience of pain with your health care providers, family members, and others working with you.

Cleveland Clinic Department of Pain Management physician Daniel J. Leizman, MD, is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and is now seeing patients at Cleveland Clinic main campus and Hillcrest Hospital. His specialty interests include treating pain associated with spine care, interventional spine procedures, musculoskeletal care, pain management and sports medicine. He also specializes in exercise prescription, complementary and alternative medicine, electrodiagnostic testing (NCS/EMG), interventional pain management for neck and back pain, and impairment and disability evaluation. A graduate of Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, Dr. Leizman served his physical medicine and rehabilitation residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health physician Santhosh Thomas, DO, MBA, is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation. His specialty interests include electromyography, evaluation and management of back and neck pain, interventional pain management, and sports medicine. Dr. Thomas is a member of the following professional associations: American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, North American Spine Society, and the International Spine Intervention Society. Dr. Thomas completed his residency at New York University Medical Center after graduating from medical school at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his fellowship in interventional spine/pain at Florida Spine Institute and completed graduate school at Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management.

To make an appointment with Daniel Leizman, MD, or any other specialist in our Department of Pain Management at Cleveland Clinic, please call 216.444.PAIN. You can also visit us online at clevelandclinic.org/painmanagement

To make an appointment with Santosh Thomas, MD or any other specialist in our Center for Spine Health specialist, call 216.636.5860 or toll-free 866.588.2264, or visit www.clevelandclinic.org/spine for further information.

This Health Chat is currently open to allow you to submit questions. We will try to answer as many questions as possible during the chat. Please create an account to attend the chat and submit your questions.