Thiru M. Annaswamy, M.D., Spine and Spinal Cord Injury Research

Research Summary

Dr. Annaswamy
Thiru M. Annaswamy, M.D.

I am board certified physician in PM&R and sub-specialty certified in Neuromuscular Medicine, Electrodiagnostic Medicine and Pain Medicine. Clinically, I have treated patients with spine disorders, musculoskeletal disorders and diseases of the muscles & nerves for 20 plus years. My primary areas of research interests include:

  • Studying optimal evaluation & therapeutic strategies for patients with chronic pain, spine and musculoskeletal disorders
  • Better understand and manage human movement and gait disorders
  • Studying novel applications of technology such as virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality and haptics in solving problems in rehabilitation

Pursuing this line of inquiry, I have collaborated with various clinician scientists and researchers including as co-PI on a Large NSF funded Collaborative Research project “Exploiting Multi-modality for Tele-Immersion”, the goals of which were to develop and validate a 3-D virtual reality based telerehabilitation system with haptics.

In addition, I have been a co-investigator and site principal investigator in the LESS (a randomized controlled trial of lumbar epidural steroid injections for treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis) and LESSER studies. In addition, I have also conducted research in the areas of gait and movement analysis, electrophysiology, and electrodiagnostic medicine. I have been funded by non-profit research foundations as well as industry. I also have a track record of successful research collaboration with other investigators, who have been funded by federal agencies such as VA Rehab R&D, AHRQ and PCORI.

Current Research Projects

  • 2020-Current Quality of clinical practice guidelines on low back pain; an Umbrella review.
  • 2020-Current VA Stenosis Outcomes in Lumbar Instrumentation and Decompression (SOLID) Registry
  • 2020-Current Efficacy of a Pulsed Microcurrent in the Non-Invasive Treatment of Knee Pain from Osteoarthritis
  • 2020-Current Co-Operative Pain Education and Self management; COPES ExTRA; LSI
  • 2018-Current Quality of Rehabilitation Clinical Practice Guidelines: An Overview Study
  • 2018-Current Pain and Functional Outcomes with Misoprostol Treatment for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
  • 2018-Current Feasibility and Functional Outcomes of a Novel Mixed Reality based system to manage phantom pain for Patients with lower limb amputation
  • 2016-Current Feasibility and Functional Outcomes of a Novel Home-Based Rehabilitation Coach System for Patients with Mobility Impairment Post-Stroke
  • 2019-2020 Discriminatory Ability of Motor Unit Nerve Index (MUNIX) in Assessing Axonal Loss in Patients with Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
  • 2017-2020 Using Inflammatory Biomarkers and EMG to Predict Epidural Injection Response in Patients Diagnosed with Lumbar Stenosis

Ongoing Research Support

Funding Agency: VA Cooperative Studies Program (CSP) PI: Ferguson
VA Stenosis Outcomes in Lumbar Instrumentation and Decompression (SOLID) Registry
Role: Local Site Investigator (LSI)

Funding Agency: NIH/DoD/VA pragmatic trial PI: Heapy
COPES ExTRA: Cooperative Pain Education and Self Management
Role: Local Site Investigator (LSI)

Funding Agency: AVAZZIA, Inc. PI: Annaswamy
Efficacy of a Pulsed Microcurrent in the Non-Invasive Treatment of Knee Pain from Osteoarthritis

Funding Agency: Foundation for PM&R New Investigator Award PI: Annaswamy; Cai-Resident Awardee Dates 11/19-10/20
Goals: To determine if MUNIX has discriminatory ability to quantify degree of axonal loss in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis.

Funding Agency: Foundation for PM&R + Aspen Products PI: Annaswamy
Benefit of Lumbar Bracing for Chronic Low Back Pain due to Degenerative Disc Disease.
Goals: Randomized controlled clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of lumbar support bracing in patients with chronic low back pain.

Funding Agency: NSF Li-PI (CSU, Fresno) Dates 10/01/16-09/30/2019
MRI: Development of a Cloud Based Instrument for Heterogeneous Biomedical Body Sensor Systems
Role: Consultant

Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography

My Bibliography