The importance of screening in musculoskeletal disorders

A few days ago, a very interesting study on the combined non-invasive method of assessing correct posture was published in the pages of the journal Scientific Reports (title: Thermography and rasterstereography as a combined infrared method to assess the posture of healthy individuals). A study conducted by an interdisciplinary group at the University of Catania, coordinated by Prof. Giuseppe Musumeci of the Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences on a large number of healthy subjects (young adults) with the aim of demonstrating the importance of screening for postural alterations (especially when the subjects are ‘apparently’ healthy).

The study – aimed at the non-invasive assessment of posture – analysed the subjects’ musculoskeletal alterations using infrared thermography and rasterstereography, a topographical analysis of the back, precisely the type of examination that can be performed – thanks to LiDar technology – with Spine 3d (Sensor Medica). Assisting Prof. Musumeci (Motor Sciences) is a multidisciplinary working group consisting of Vito Pavone and Gianluca Testa (Orthopaedics), Pietro Pavone (Paediatrics), Venerando Rapisarda (Occupational Medicine) and Michele Vecchio (Physiatrics).

After all, according to recent studies, it has been proven that musculoskeletal alterations are among the main causes of disability precisely in the age group examined by Prof. Musumeci’s research. Hence the need to implement non-invasive methods, especially to investigate and assess posture in those apparently healthy subjects.

3D spines and the need for pre-pain checks

Obviously a subject who feels no pain, who has no specific symptoms, is unlikely to bother with examinations. Also because there has always been a tendency, whenever possible, to avoid invasive examinations. The possibility, therefore, of being able to perform non-invasive examinations is an extra weapon in the hands of both patient and doctor.

Rasterstereography (excellent for the assessment of physiological posture or back pathology), an examination that is possible with Spine 3D, is not only a reliable method, but completely safe and quick. The combination of these two examinations (rasterstereography and infrared thermography) allows a high-quality, objective and safe musculoskeletal analysis. To be performed regularly, not only when pain reminds us that we can do something for our health.

The need for accurate and early diagnosis

Prof. Musumeci himself emphasises the importance of this study. A study that not only wants to highlight the effectiveness of non-invasive examinations, and therefore completely safe for the patient, but also the need to be able to make early diagnoses, especially when there are no specific symptoms in the subject. And the combination of the two examinations at the heart of the study may indeed be decisive: ‘We hope that the results of this study can contribute to the prevention and early diagnosis of musculoskeletal complications, improving patients’ quality of life‘. The aim is to anticipate the most complex problems, because prevention is always the most valuable route to our health.

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