Dr. Yong’s research interests are multifaceted: neuromodulation, chronic pain, procedural education, and spinal stenosis.
The concept that neuromodulation in the form of spinal cord stimulation, dorsal root ganglion stimulation, and peripheral nerve stimulation can help decrease pain and improve functionality. Recent innovations in neuromodulation have included novel waveforms and morphing how we delivery electrical fields to the neural structures transmitting pain signals. We are studying new indications for neuromodulation and how we can best optimize patients suffering from severe, intractable pain.
- Spinal stenosis
Lumbar spinal stenosis affects patients suffering from chronic pain by compressing the spinal canal resulting in mechanical pain. The mainstay of treatment and management involves medication, injections, and eventually surgery. Recent innovations bridge the gap between injections and surgery. We are exploring minimally invasive techniques to relieve some the pain and functional limitations caused by lumbar spinal stenosis.
- Procedural education
Simulation has permeated through medical education, especially anesthesiology. However, Pain Medicine has been late to adopt simulation in the medical curriculum. We have created a simulation center for teaching trainees how to perform procedures on a cadaveric simulator. We are studying the benefits from comfort and accuracy performing the procedure to reduced radiation exposure. We are also designing a curriculum to be used at other major academic centers. The feedback and self-improvement continue beyond the simulation session into immersive video feedback where the trainees can watch themselves perform the procedure in a 360-degree environment. We are studying the benefits of immersive feedback.
- Chronic pain
Chronic pain affects millions of Americans every day. We are studying the epidemiology of chronic pain and the multiple facets of the management of chronic pain. Chronic pain can arise from the spine but also includes headaches, pelvic pain, cancer-related pain, vascular pain, and much more. We are studying the effects of chronic pain on our patients and how our interventions and treatments affect patients. This includes cannabidiol, regenerative medication, opioid medications, and technologies aimed at optimizing these therapies.
- Pak DJ, Yong RJ, Kaye AD, Urman RD. Chronification of pain: mechanisms, current understanding, and clinical implications. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2018 Feb 5; 22 (2):11. Doi: 10.1007/s11916-018-0666-8.
- Aman MM, Yong RJ, Kaye, AD, Urman RD. Evidence-based non-pharmacological therapies for fibromyalgia. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2018 Apr 4; 22:33. Doi: 10.1007/s11916-018-0688-2.
- Atkinson T, Pisansky A, Yong RJ. Common Elements in Opioid Use Disorder Guidelines for Buprenorphine Prescribing. American Journal of Managed Care. March 2019
- Novak, C.J., Khimani, N., Kaye, A.D., Yong RJ, Urman, RD. Curr Pain Headache Rep (2019) 23: 16. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11916-019-0759-z. 30830460
- Valimahomed A, Haffey PR, Urman RD, Kaye A, Yong RJ. Regenerative Techniques for Neuraxial Back Pain: A Systematic Review. Curr Pain Headache Rep. (2019) 23:20. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11916-019-0758-0
- Morales A, Yong RJ, Kaye AD, Urman RD. Spinal Cord Stimulation: Comparing Traditional Low-frequency Tonic Waveforms to Novel High Frequency and Burst Stimulation for the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2019 Mar 14; 23 (4):25.
- Bleveins Peratikos M, Weeks HL, Pisansky AJB, Yong RJ, Stringer EA. Effect of Preoperative Opioid Use on Adverse Outcomes, Medical Spending, and Persistent Opioid Use Following Elective Total Joint Arthroplasty in the United States: A Large Retrospective Cohort Study of Administrative Claims Data. Pain Med. 2019 May 23.
- Boyaji S, Merkow J, Elman RNM, Kaye AD, Yong RJ, Urman RD. The Role of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Chronic Pain Management: An Assessment of Current Evidence. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2020 Jan 24. Doi: 10.1007/s11916-020-0835-4
- Coppes OJM, Yong RJ, Kaye AD, Urman RD. Patient and Surgery-Related Predictors of Acute Postoperative Pain. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2020 Feb 18. Doi: 10.1007/s11916-020-0844-3
- Costelloe C, Burns S, Yong RJ, Kaye AD, Urman RD. An Analysis of Predictors of Persistent Postoperative Pain in Spine Surgery. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2020 Feb 18. Doi: 10.1007/s11916-020-0842-5
- Merkow J, Varhabhatla N, Manchikanti L, Kaye AD, Urman RD, Yong RJ. Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression and Interspinous Process Device for the Management of Symptomatic Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: a Literature Review. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2020 Feb 18. Doi: 10.1007/s11916-020-0845-2.