Welcome back to week five of the Getting Back Better series on Spine IQ’s Back Blog. As this important series draws to a close, we encourage you to sign up for our free webinar on April 6th at 6 pm EST. This is a unique opportunity to interact with spine care researchers and policy experts Drs. Haldeman, Goertz and Evans. Get your questions ready!

Over the past month, we have focused on evidence-based information regarding telehealth and steps you can take to help patients feel safer in your clinic during COVID and beyond. This week we’re concentrating on what appears to be the likely future of COVID-19, and what it means for your practice!

Spine care clinicians have both an opportunity and an obligation to actively engage patients in important conversations about evidence-based public health practices, including those surrounding the transmission of COVID-19. At the same time it is also important that we take care of ourselves. Neither is easy. It is difficult to pick up a newspaper without learning even more alarming statistics about new variants of the virus that cause COVID-19 and the increases in COVID-related illness across the country. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently reported there are at least three known variants of the virus that may be more contagious, lead to more severe symptoms, and result in a higher risk of associated death (1-4). Now, more than ever, it is more important practice and encourage your patients to engage in the CDC’s “3 W’s”. Straightforward guidance for your patients based on CDC recommendations can save lives. Areas to focus on are how well a mask fits, ensuring that the nose and mouth are covered, how well it filters the air, and how many layers it contains.

Approaching the ongoing battle against all variants causing COVID-19 also means continuing to take in-person precautions in your practice such as those discussed in our previous post and staying current on telehealth procedures. As conservative spine care providers look to the future of virtual patient care, it is imperative for clinicians to continue their education to keep their patients safe and informed regarding new variants until we truly know we are ‘out of the woods’.

The bottom line? SPINE IQ!

Share your knowledge
Provide guidance on best practices
Initiate positive actions
Nurture optimistic attitudes
Encourage compliance with public health recommendations

Identify areas of concern within your practice
Quickly address areas needing improvement

Have questions and want to know more? Register for the Getting Back Better webinar here!


  1. US COVID-19 Cases Caused by Variants. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. Increased mortality in community-tested cases of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7. Davies NG, Jarvis CI; CMMID COVID-19 Working Group, Edmunds WJ, Jewell NP, Diaz-Ordaz K, Keogh RH. Nature. 2021 Mar 15.
  3. Estimated transmissibility and impact of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 in England. Davies NG, Abbott S, Barnard RC, Jarvis CI, Kucharski AJ, Munday JD, Pearson CAB, Russell TW, Tully DC, Washburne AD, Wenseleers T, Gimma A, Waites W, Wong KLM, van Zandvoort K, Silverman JD; CMMID COVID-19 Working Group; COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium, Diaz-Ordaz K, Keogh R, Eggo RM, Funk S, Jit M, Atkins KE, Edmunds WJ. Science. 2021 Mar 3:eabg3055.
  4. Risk of mortality in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern 202012/1: matched cohort study. Challen R, Brooks-Pollock E, Read JM, Dyson L, Tsaneva-Atanasova K, Danon L. BMJ. 2021 Mar 9;372:n579.