Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas

Dr. Benoy Benny on Pain Research at Baylor College of Medicine

— -- My name is Dr. Benoy Benny and I'm an Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and the Director of Spine, Sports and Pain Program in the department.

In our department at Baylor, our unique alliance with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston allows us to combine resources and provide focused care and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment to our patients.

One area of focus deals with back pain. About 80 percent of people have some sort of back or neck pain in their lifetime. Our research in this area focuses on newer, less invasive techniques to treat the pain.

In the past, stenosis or shooting pain that occurs down the leg has been managed surgically. For many years this is also been managed by epidural steroid injections. For patients that do not have long term relief with these injections, surgical management has been the mainstay of treatment.

We're currently using newer techniques to guide a needle into the disk to decompress the disk that is putting pressure on the nerve and causing pain. These less invasive techniques can theoretically have a faster recovery time and cause less scarring.

For those suffering from muscular pain and spasms, we're in the initial stages of trial of botchulinum toxin injections for long-term relief of back and neck pain.

Other areas of research include the quality of recovery from spinal cord and brain injury, device related infection, health care and psycho-social issues of women with disabilities and outcome research examining the effectiveness of brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation.

Our funded research includes more than 30 grants and subcontracts from federal and private sources. The National Institute of Health included our department at number three in the ranking of U.S. medical schools that received NIH funded research awards for 2004.