KnowYourBack is the North American Spine Society (NASS)’s patient-focused education platform. Brainchild of Raj Rao (Washington, DC, USA), it has been providing valuable information to individuals concerned about back pain and other spinal problems since its launch at the 2009 NASS annual meeting in San Francisco, USA.
The website is currently maintained by the society’s Patient Education Committee, with additional content offered by the Public Affairs Committee and various other NASS Sections. Averaging around 1.2 million pageviews over the past two years, the website’s biggest hits include posts explaining acute low back pain, lumbar discectomy and whiplash.
KnowYourBack offers a multitude of advice for patients and those interested in learning more about back pain and its causes. As well as an extensive glossary of technical terms, users can learn about the anatomy of the spine in accessible language. The “9 for Spine” video gallery takes users through nine essential tips for looking after the back, explained in fun, bite-sized animations.
One of the most useful features of the website is the “Patient Q&A” section, which offers a direct line to NASS’s experts. Patients ask general questions about their back pain, diagnostics, treatment information and insurance which are answered by spine specialists and health policy experts, and displayed online to assist others with similar concerns. Peer-reviewed, the answers offer a valuable resource to users. Visitors can also learn about the potential benefits of certain procedures from patient “Success Stories”, where individuals who have gone through spinal surgery explain their reasons, and their experiences, post-operation.
For those individuals interested in taking the step towards treatment, the KnowYourBack website also includes a “Find a Specialist” platform, through which users can find local healthcare professionals specialising in everything from radiology to neurosurgery. As well as locating specialists by address, users can search by insurance provider, languages spoken and conditions treated.
NASS recently overhauled the website to make it mobile-responsive, including links to extra resources for those who would like to learn even more. Updating the website regularly, NASS is planning on expanding its “What You Should Know” video content. Areas to be covered in future videos include cervical arthroplasty, microdiscectomy, lumbar fusion, cervical fusion and general office visits. As well as general information videos, NASS is expanding into the world of video blogging, giving users a more personal introduction in to the world of spine care. In addition to video content, KnowYourBack will feature more written posts on specialist topics including discitis, nerve root injury, fibromyalgia, trigger point injections and tumour injections.
A peer-reviewed, society-backed website, KnowYourBack offers a trusted, accessible and comprehensive source of data for patients and their loved ones.