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February 19, 2019 Knee0

Do you have lower back pain? Do your glutes complain when you walk?

You could be in the 13% of people who suffer from sacroiliac joint pain.

Sacroiliac joint pain is a chronic condition that causes sufferers significant discomfort. The good news, however, is that there are treatments that can help.

There are several treatment options for lower back pain, but a sacroiliac joint injection will offer long-term pain relief – even if everything else you’ve tried hasn’t worked.

Keep reading to learn more about how to find sweet relief from sacroiliac joint pain with injections.

What Is the Sacroiliac Joint?

The sacroiliac joints are at the base of the spine and connect the hip bone (the ilium) to the sacrum.

Pain happens for many reasons. Chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis, are a common cause. Injuries, such as falls, are also a culprit for causing ongoing sacroiliac joint pain.

Inflammation in the ligaments around the joint, or the degradation of the bone itself, are what cause long-term chronic pain.

Causes of Sacroiliac Joint Pain

There are two types of sacroiliac joint pain: acute and chronic.

Acute pain occurs after a trauma to the area. The ligaments can be stretched in a fall, for example, and this also harms the muscles in the area. Acute pain like this often resolves on its own in a few weeks.

Chronic pain is when the problem persists for more than three months. Acute pain can trigger chronic pain if, for example, a tear injury to the ligament results in permanent damage.

Musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis also trigger long-term chronic sacroiliac joint pain.

Sacroiliac Joint Problems: Symptoms to Look out For

A key symptom of a problem with your sacroiliac joint is a persistent pain in your lower back. This could be in one area or feel like it radiates out to your hip.

You have two sacroiliac joints, one on each side of your sacrum. This means that pain is most often experienced on one side, but in severe or long-term problems the pain will radiate across both sides of the lower back.

Movement will worsen the pain, especially transitional movement such as moving from sitting to standing. Staying immobile, either standing or sitting, for long periods of time will also increase the discomfort.

The sciatic nerve is often irritated with sacroiliac joint problems, too. This nerve runs through the buttock down the back of the leg. If the nerve is irritated you will feel pain in these areas as well as the base of your back.

Pain Relief with a Sacroiliac Joint Injection

There are several treatment routes for sacroiliac joint pain. Chronic pain sufferers find a combination of the below will help to reduce their pain.

Over-the-Counter Painkillers

Start your treatment plan by trying over-the-counter painkillers from your local pharmacy. These will reduce inflammation to minimize pain.

However, this is only a short-term solution as painkillers have their own risks and side effects, such as causing digestive problems.

Prescription Medication

Your doctor will be able to prescribe stronger painkillers than you can buy at the pharmacy counter. 

However, these are also a short-term solution and have added risks such as dependency on opioid-based medications.

Sacroiliac Braces

A special brace that wraps around the lower back can help to stabilize the inflamed joint. The wrap provides added support to the area, reduces the load on your muscles, and limits mobility to avoid aggravating an inflamed sacroiliac joint.

However, a brace shouldn’t be relied upon all day, every day, as this will weaken the muscles and risk further pain.

Chiropractic Manipulation

A trained chiropractor can manipulate your joints into a more neutral alignment to help reduce sacroiliac joint pain.

However, manual therapy can be expensive and will not provide long-term relief without being used in conjunction with other treatment options. Chiropractors focus on bone alignment, rather than muscles, and both elements need to be treated for successful pain reduction.

Physical Therapy

Sacroiliac joint pain can be helped with physical therapy. Exercises to strengthen the muscles and ligaments around the joint will reduce inflammation and prevent flare-ups of pain.

However, you will need to take other courses of treatment, such as painkillers, to reduce inflammation enough for exercise to be conducted safely.

Joint Injections

A steroid injection directly into the sacroiliac joint is an ideal long-term pain relief solution.

The injection reduces inflammation over a longer period of time than painkillers and is safe even for patients who are unable to take some forms of pain blocker medications, too. 

What to Expect During Your Treatment

The injection you receive is a combination of a local anesthetic and a steroid. 

You will lay down on a sterile table and a numbing cream may be applied to the area of your lower back to reduce any discomfort. An x-ray machine may be used to guide a needle to the joint in need of injecting.

The fluid is injected directly into the area of pain, in this case near the sacroiliac joint. The local anesthetic will provide some instant pain relief, but the actual injection may cause a little discomfort at first.

The entire procedure is very short and is an outpatient treatment. That means you only need to be at the treatment center during your appointment – you can go home afterward.

Post-Injection Care Tips for Long-Term Pain Relief

Once the anesthetic wears off, your pain may return for up to 48 hours. Don’t be disheartened! It takes a few days for the longer-term steroid ingredients to get to work on your joint.

There is sometimes a little bruising and discomfort around the injection site, too. You can alleviate this by applying an ice pack for ten minutes every hour until the site feels less sore.

After a few days, inflammation will be significantly reduced and your pain minimal or even gone completely.

This is a good time to take up gentle exercise and find a physical therapist for additional support. Learn some stretches and exercises that will add flexibility to your lower back, strengthen your core muscles for support, and reduce the chance of your pain returning.

Seek Pain Relief for Your Back Pain Today

Chronic back pain doesn’t have to disrupt your life the way it does right now. A sacroiliac joint injection could significantly reduce your long-term pain experience and help you move towards a pain-free life.

Book an appointment with a pain specialist to discover if an injection, or other treatment option, will be able to help your back pain problems.


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February 12, 2019 Hip0

Have you been experiencing pain in your hip in recent days?

If the hip pain just started, there might not be anything to worry about. There are about two dozen muscles in your hip area and lots of different nerves. So your hip pain could be caused by something as simple as a slight hip strain resulting from everyday activities.

However, if the pain in your hip persists and doesn’t clear up after a little while, this could be a cause for concern. There are all kinds of conditions, including spinal stenosis, peripheral neuropathy, and even hip arthritis, that could be to blame for your hip joint pain.

Generally speaking, it’s always a good idea to get hip joint pain checked out just in case. Here are some signs that’ll let you know it’s definitely time to see a doctor about the hip pain that you’re experiencing.

Ice and Over-the-Counter Medications Don’t Help the Pain

When hip pain first starts to set in, the best thing that you can do for it is to apply ice to it and take over-the-counter pain medications to dull the sensations you’re feeling. You should also get plenty of rest and avoid any strenuous activities.

As long as you take it easy for a few weeks, your hip should recover from whatever was bothering it. At that point, you should be able to get back to your normal routine without dealing with pain in your hip all the time.

But if you notice that ice and OTC pain medications are having very little effect on the pain in your hip, you might want to consider reaching out to a doctor right away. This could be a clear sign that there is a more serious issue going on.

Pain in Your Hip Persists For More Than a Month

While it’s OK to rely on ice and OTC pain medications to treat your hip pain for about a month (provided you’re healthy enough to take OTC pain medications, of course), you shouldn’t use them as a crutch for too long. It’s never good to take OTC pain medications regularly for an extended period of time.

Plus, a month should give your hip more than enough time to heal if it’s going to heal on its own. So if you make it to the one-month mark and your hip still hurts day in and day out, it’s time to bring a doctor into the mix.

Hip Pain Seems to Disappear But Returns When You Work Out

Does your hip feel fine for the most part…except for when you exercise?

This can obviously put a damper on your workouts. It’s hard to burn calories without moving around a lot. And you won’t be able to move as much as you want to when your hip is hurting throughout your workout regimen.

If you feel the pain in your hip creep up almost exclusively when you’re exercising, it could indicate a stress fracture. It could also indicate one of the other conditions that we mentioned earlier.

Whatever the case, there is a long list of procedures that could potentially get you back up on your feet and into the gym again. Talk to a doctor about which ones might be right for your hip condition.

You Lose Range of Motion in Your Hip Suddenly

It’s not terribly uncommon for people to lose range of motion in their hips as they get older. But they tend to lose range of motion gradually over the course of several years, not in a matter of just a few weeks or even months.

Have you lost range of motion in one of your hips suddenly? This might force you to walk with a limp or to feel a great deal of pain when you’re walking.

Either way, you shouldn’t continue to limp or walk around in pain all the time because of the limited range of motion in your hip. You should make an effort to have a doctor take a look at your hip to see what the problem with it is.

Your Hip Gets Stiff When You Sit or Lie Down For a Long Time

Research has suggested that more than 90 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis at this time. And while not everyone who has arthritis suffers from pain in their hips, there are hundreds of thousands of Americans who are forced to deal with pain in their hips as a result of hip arthritis.

If you notice that your hips get very tight when you sit down or lie down for a long period of time, it could be a sign that you have hip arthritis. Experiencing pain in your hips when you tie your shoes is another sign of hip arthritis.

Many people ignore this pain and chalk it up to inactivity. But it could be much deeper than that and will often require medical attention.

You Experience Pain in Your Groin at Night

When you’re lying in bed at night, do you feel pain in your groin?

Believe it or not, this is yet another indication that hip arthritis might be setting in. Those who have hip problems often feel pain in other parts of their bodies outside of just their hips. Their groins are also sore a lot due to their hip conditions.

Stop letting hip joint pain keep you up at night. A doctor can evaluate your hips and see if they’re the reason you can’t sleep because of groin pain.

Get Help With Your Hip Pain Today

If you don’t take care of it, hip pain can make your life miserable. It can make it hard for you to walk, cause you to get stiff when you sit down, and even make sleeping more challenging than it has to be.

By visiting with a doctor, you can get to the bottom of your hip joint pain and stop it from ruining your life. You can also avoid problems in other parts of your body that might start to set in due to a condition affecting your hips.

Schedule an appointment with one of our doctors today to address the pain in your hip.


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February 5, 2019 Lower Back0

Are you experiencing neck or lower back pain but you don’t know where it’s coming from? Maybe you’re less active lately, causing more discomfort and pain. If you’re wondering whether or not these symptoms are related to spinal stenosis, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’re discussing what spinal stenosis is and what causes it. We’ll also detail specific symptoms that you should be aware of so that you can consult your doctor for treatment. Keep reading to learn more. 

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

This condition is known as a narrowing of the spaces within your spine. In other words, it affects the spinal cord and spinal column. When this narrowing happens, it allows for pressure on the nerves that travel through your spine. 

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

Symptoms of osteoarthritis are one of the most common causes of spinal stenosis. The wear and tear on your bones and joints can cause the narrowing of your spinal column which results in worsening symptoms over time.

Some other causes include the following: 

Spinal Injuries

If you’ve ever been involved in a traumatic car accident, you may be at risk for this degenerative condition. Dislocations or fractures to vertebrae or displaced bone can damage the spinal canal. Likewise, recent back surgery can cause swelling that puts pressure on those nerves.

Bone Overgrowth

Another condition known as Paget’s disease is a bone disease that generally affects adults. It can cause bone overgrowth in the spine. Other wear and tear may also prompt the formation of bone spurs that grow into the spinal canal.

Herniated Disks

The disks in your vertebrae serve as cushions and shock absorbers in your spine. Age can cause these disks to dry out and crack which can allow the soft inner material to escape. This material then puts pressure on your spinal cord or other nerves.

Tumors

Although uncommon, tumors can form inside the spinal cord and in the space between the spinal cord and your vertebrae. 

Thickened Ligaments

As you age, your ligaments may become stiff, thick, tough, or thick. Ligaments close to your spine may bulge into the spinal canal causing pressure. 

Types of Spinal Stenosis

The types of this condition are classified according to where they affect you. It is possible to have more than one type. It is not common to have a diagnosis for your middle or upper back.

Cervical Stenosis

Cervical stenosis affects the cervical spine and may also be referred to as cervical spinal stenosis. Your cervical spine is in your neck and pain may radiate into your shoulders and upper back.

Lumbar Stenosis

The most common type of spinal stenosis occurs in the lower back. This is known as lumbar stenosis.

Symptoms

Some people never experience symptoms but may show evidence of the condition via MRI or CT scans

For cervical stenosis, look out for numbness or tingling in your hands, arms, feet, or legs. Also be aware of weakness in these areas. Balance and walking may also be impeded.

Severe cases of cervical stenosis may prompt urinary urgency and incontinence or bowel problems.

Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the feet or legs and pain or cramping after standing for long periods may be indications of lumbar spine stenosis or lower back. 

Complications 

In rare cases and without treatment, severe spinal stenosis can progress and cause permanent damage such as numbness, weakness, and balance problems. Incontinence and paralysis are also attributable to the long term effects of this disease when left untreated. 

Treatment

Depending on the severity of your case, your doctor may prescribe various treatments to help with the pain and other symptoms.

Medications

Regular pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen may help with pain. These are generally reserved for short term use.

Some antidepressants and anti-seizure medications are also helpful for pain.

Physical Therapy

Especially if you have become less active due to your pain, your muscles are at a disadvantage for becoming weaker. This may cause even more pain. 

A physical therapist can teach you specific exercises that can help you maintain flexibility and build strength and endurance.

Steroid Injections

Steroid injections can help reduce inflammation and relieve some pain. This may not work for everyone and your doctor will only prescribe a few injections per year.

Decompression

In order to alleviate the need for surgery, if at all possible, your doctor may perform a decompression procedure. This procedure uses needle-like instruments to remove thickened ligaments around the spinal cord. This method of treatment is only reserved for those with spinal stenosis related to thickened ligaments.

Surgery

As a last resort, your doctor may recommend spinal stenosis surgery. There are a few different options when it gets to this level so it’s important to have a lengthy conversation with your doctor about which option is best for your condition.

Home Remedies

Whether you have been officially diagnosed or you match some of the symptoms listed here, you need to get regular exercise. Yoga is a beneficial practice because it’s easy on your joints and teaches regular breathing which can help minimize pain.

You may also consider massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, and acupuncture as alternative remedies to medication and surgery. 

Final Thoughts

Spinal stenosis generally affects women more prominently than men. While it can be a congenital disease, it is more likely to onset in people over age fifty. Younger people that experience spinal stenosis may have degenerative changes that require the attention of a physician.

Your doctor can give you a proper diagnosis by performing an MRI or CT scan. Spinal imaging can differentiate the causes of your pain which can also include trauma, spinal deformity, and genetic diseases that affect bone and muscle development.

If you have questions or require a consult, contact us at one of our convenient locations across New Jersey. We have been leaders in pain management for 15 years and look forward to helping you. 


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January 30, 2019 Neck0

Life can be a pain in the neck. That may be an old phrase, but there’s a lot of truth to it.

Neck pain happens to many people and for many different reasons. It’s annoying  and makes life a lot more difficult. The phrase “pain in the neck” dates back to around the turn of the century, so people have had this issue for quite a while. 

Unfortunately, getting rid of neck pain often means knowing why you have it. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of ten of the most common causes of neck pain. Read on, and we’ll try our best to eplain everything.

1. Posture or Sleeping Position

How we stand, sit, and sleep can affect a lot of things, and neck pain is one of them. In particular, craning your neck forward, such as when texting, surfing the internet or even reading a book, is a bad idea.

Keep in mind, we’re not telling you to stop doing these things, or even to cut back,but be aware of neck craning and try to avoid it in the future.

When it comes to sleeping, there could be a few different solutions. One such solution is to sleep on your back. Sleeping on your side can compress your spine and cause those annoying neck pains. 

You may also be using too many  or too few pillows, which can cause your neck to rest at an unnatural angle. You may want to consider investing in a memory foam pillow, which will support your neck without forcing it into an odd position.

2. Stress

It seems like every day, we find out that stress does something else to us. In this case, it can cause our muscles to grow taut, which makes it easier to strain them. If you’re the type who feels stressed and overwhelmed on a regular basis, your risk for stress-related injuries goes up.

The best advice for this is to calm down. Take a break whenever you feel the need to.

If frequent stress is a problem for you, one that’s disrupting your life significantly, we encourage you to see a counselor. They can teach you to help manage your symptoms and even refer you to a psychiatrist if they believe medication might help.

3. Carrying Too Much Weight

Don’t worry, this isn’t an entry about losing weight, although that can still be a health issue. It’s about literally carrying weight, like in the form of a purse or a backpack.

Carrying too much weight, and especially carrying it unevenly, causes our spines to bend and strain, which can lead to injury and discomfort. In terms of how to cure it, the only thing we can suggest is trying to distribute weight evenly, and cut down on it if you can.

4. Brachial Plexus Injury

The brachial plexus is a set of nerves that start in the neck and stretch down into the arms and hands. There are many potential causes of a brachial plexus injury, but the most common ones are motor vehicle accidents and sports injuries.

Having a brachial plexus injury is a bit like having a broken arm. It hurts or feels numb, and you may not be able to move it. In most cases, these injuries will heal naturally in a few months or less.

If they don’t, you should seek medical attention, because your condition may require surgery.

5. Whiplash

Whiplash has some of the same causes as a Brachial Plexus injury, and a few of the symptoms may be similar. However, a person with whiplash may also suffer from headaches, pain in the lower back, dizziness, tinnitus, and other symptoms besides.

Treatments for whiplash are often simplistic. They include pain pills, ice packs, physical therapy and home-based or outpatient procedures. Symptoms will often disappear within a month.

6. Pinched Nerve

In the neck, a pinched nerve will feel a lot like a brachial plexus injury and can be caused by many of the same things. However, a pinched nerve can also be the result of being overweight.

The big difference is that a pinched nerve usually disappears within several days. They also can be alleviated, to an extent, by home remedies such as ice packs.

7. Slipped Disk

Often caused by age, this condition occurs when one of the cushioned discs between vertebrae becomes prolapsed. This means that the bones in your spine are not as well protected, which results in pain during daily activities, often on one side of the body. You may also suffer tingling and muscle weakness.

Though age is one of the causes, it isn’t the only possible cause. You can also suffer a slipped disc from excessive muscle strain or being overweight.

Slipped discs need to be diagnosed by a doctor. This will often require a discogram, but can usually be treated non-surgically using painkillers and regular mild exercise. 

8. Headaches

Certain types of headaches can have neck pain and stiffness as a symptom, including migraines. If this is the case, it should go away when the headache does.

Most headaches, even migraines, can be treated with home care and painkillers. If you suffer from migraines, you should also consider therapy for help in reducing stress.

9. Age

Aging makes us more susceptible to neck pain and medical conditions that can cause them. One such condition is arthritis.

In most cases, nothing can cure these conditions, but consulting with a doctor may help you find ways to cope with them or even slow their progression.

10. Sprains, Strains and the Unexplained

Like it or not, there’s not always an obvious explanation for pain. It may be something as simple as a sprain or strain, or some other mild, short-lived ache.

Our bodies are weird, and they sometimes do things we can’t explain. Unless sprains and strains are happening a lot, there’s no need to see a doctor.

Causes of Neck Pain

There are many potential causes of neck pain. Some come from sports injuries, being overweight, or car accidents. In some cases, you could just have poor posture or be too stressed out. It may even be the result of age or some random pain that comes and goes with no explanation.

That’s only a few explanations. If you want to know more, we encourage you to do research on your own.

The best advice we can give is to try to stay healthy and active, and to see a doctor if something feels wrong. 

If you want to know more about pain and how to treat it, please visit our site. We can tell you all about the different kinds of stem cells and what role they play in medicine.


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January 26, 2019 Lower Back0

 

There are few forms of discomfort worse than back pain. This especially true of pain from the sacroiliac joint. This can be a sharp, stabbing pain that radiates up from the upper buttock out to the hips and down to the back of your thighs.

 

Sacroiliac pain can also be experienced as a tingling or numbness in the legs. Believe it or not, the SI joint is actually responsible for 15 to 30 percent of all cases of chronic lower back pain.

 

Let’s take a look at some of the causes of SI pain, as well as what can be done to reduce it.

 

Sacroiliac Pain Causes and Treatments

 

What causes sacroiliac pain? What are the treatment options? Read on to learn everything you need to know.

 

Where are the Sacroiliac Joints Located?

 

Here are the basics: The SI joint are located where your sacrum and ilium meet. The sacrum is a triangle-shaped bone at the bottom of the spine The ilium is the uppermost point of your pelvis, and is one of the three bones that form your hip bones. These joints are essentially located in your upper buttock; there is one on each side.

 

The purpose of the SI joints is to act as a shock absorber to support the weight of your body by distributing it evenly across the pelvis and reduce pressure on the spine. These joints are where your upper body meet your lower body. It is meant to be very stable joint; in anatomic studies it has only minor movement. To add to stability these joints are connected by muscles and ligaments that support the area further reducing its mobility.

 

What’s the Source of SI Joint Pain?

 

Ankylosing Spondylitis

 

This is a type of inflammatory arthritis that generally impacts the vertebrae and joints of the spine.

 

Anklylosing spondylitis not only affects SI joints, it’s also known to cause painful inflammation in a number of other joints, as well as pain in the eyes and organs of the body.

 

Pain resulting from AS is typically mild and intermittent, yet is sometimes quite severe and ongoing.

 

Osteoarthritis

 

Osteoarthritis is most often associated with aging. It is caused by the wearing down of cartilage in the SI joint, spine, and other joints.

 

Pregnancy

 

Sacroiliac pain can also be caused by significant bodily changes such as pregnancy, when hormones are released making the SI joints more elastic. This is necessary so that the pelvis can widen during childbirth.

 

But this also makes joints less stable. Thus combined with increased weight and the added weight of the baby, the mother will experience severe lower back pain. This often will resolve with child birth, however for some patients this pain does not go away due to instability in the joint.

 

Abnormal Walking Patterns

 

People who have developed abnormal walking patterns are often prone to joint dysfunction in the lower back. In many cases this is caused by such irregularities as having one leg shorter than the other, as well as from a change in walking pattern during pregnancy.

 

Physical Trauma and Injury

 

Sacroiliac pain can also be caused by any form of physical injury. This could result from car accidents, falls, a wide range of sports injury, as well as any type of severe physical trauma that might not become apparent for day or weeks later following the traumatic event.

 

Previous Lumbar Spine Surgery/Fusions

 

After patient’s have had spine surgery, especially lumbar fusions, the normal body mechanics change. Often the hardware that is placed is much stronger than the normal bones. Due to this, the force is transmitted to the area below the fusion. The final stop is the SI joint. This pressure often will cause the joint to undergo additional wear and tear as well as increased instability causing pain.

 

The Symptoms of Sacroiliac Pain

 

Although every individual is different, and experiences sacroiliac pain somewhat differently, there are some universal symptoms to watch for:

 

These include pain in the lower back radiating down the back of the thighs typically stopping at the knee however sometimes it does go down to the feet. Other symptoms are increased pain when standing up from a sitting position (like getting off the toilet or out of a car low to the ground) or pain in the lower back while driving.

 

Another symptom that might point to sacroiliac joint pain is the feeling like your legs may buckle and not support the weight of your body, as well as stiffness or a burning sensation in the pelvis.

 

Diagnosing the Problem

 

Due to the fact that the sacroiliac joint is located deep inside the body, it can be challenging for a doctor to examine. It’s also difficult to detect damage to these joints with imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans.

 

There are some physical exam maneuvers which can clue in your physician that the SI joint is an issue.

 

The most precise method to diagnose this problem  often requires a doctor to inject a numbing drug, such as lidocaine. If this injection makes the pain go away in a short amount of time, it’s an indication that you do indeed have an SI joint problem.

 

Treating Sacroiliac Pain

 

There are a wide variety of treatments for this form of pain, ranging from self-care and physical therapy, to surgery:

 

Physical Therapy and Exercise

 

Low-impact exercise such as yoga is ideal for alleviating lower back pain. Massage is often effective at easing pain, and helps to strengthen and stabilize the joints of the lower back area.

 

Physical therapy can also be useful, as well as wearing a sacroiliac belt that helps ease the pain by support the SI joint.

 

Medication

 

There are a number of anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers that can be used for short-term pain relief. But these should not be considered long-term options due to the risk of addiction, and because they simply do not fix the problem.

 

Injections

 

Simple injections can often provide intermediate to long term relief from SI joint pain. These injections include numbing medicine and anti-inflammatory steroids. Another injection that can make the pain relief last longer is a radiofrequency ablation where the nerves transmitting the pain from the SI joint are destroyed via special needles. There is no incisions for these type of procedures.

 

SI Fusion with the CornerLoc System

Lastly, a permanent fix for SI joint pain is treatment with the revolutionary CornerLoc system. This minimally invasive procedure introduced cadaver bone graft into the SI joint through a straw like instrument. This graft is then then surrounded with your own stem cells and bone marrow. The graft acts as scaffolding for your own bone to grow around it eliminating SI joint instability. This is better than other SI fusion systems which use rods and screws which is riskier, move invasive, and can lead to more issues.

 

Understanding the Source of Severe Lower Back Pain

 

There is certainly nothing fun about experiencing sacroiliac pain. This form of lower back pain can be debilitating and make life miserable.

 

The first step in eliminating this type of pain is to understand the source of it. The back is a fragile part of the body, and when something is wrong with the joints of the lower back, you suddenly realize how much you take it for granted.

 

This article should help you better understand sacroiliac pain and how to treat any discomfort caused by inflammation of this area of the lower back.

 

Click here to learn more about when you should see your doctor about joint pain.

 

 

 


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January 19, 2019 Health and Wellness0

 

Anywhere from 11% to 40% of American adults suffer from chronic pain.

 

The most common type of pain is back pain. In the US, 80% of adults will experience back pain at some point in their life. But is there anything you can do to get relief?

 

There are a number of conventional methods for treating back pain – but none are guaranteed and some are incredibly invasive. But stem cell therapy is a relatively new back pain treatment that offers promising results.

 

If you’re suffering from back pain, read on to learn more about the benefits of stem cell therapy for your condition.

 

7 Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy for Back Pain

 

Stem cell therapy is also known as regenerative medicine. It uses stem cells to repair diseased, dysfunctional, and/or injured tissue.

 

When it comes to back pain, anything that brings relief is welcome. But below we’ve listed the top 8 benefits of stem cell therapy specifically for back pain.

 

1. Stem Cell Therapy Is a Holistic Approach

 

Stem cell therapy repairs damaged discs and facet joints to restore mobility and function. Stem cells rehydrate the tissue and have the potential to significantly reduce chronic pain. And they do all this using the cells produced by your own body.

 

The therapy harvests bone marrow aspirate cellular concentrate (BMAC) from your own body. The BMAC concentrate is then re-injected into the area treatment area.

 

The injections involved in stem cell therapy don’t involve any chemicals or anything synthesized. In fact, there’s no risk of allergic reaction or rejection because your own stem cells are being used.

 

2. Stem Cell Treatment Carries Little Risk

 

In a stem cell therapy procedure, a long needle extracts bone marrow from the hip or fat cells of the patient. In order to identify and remove the primitive cells used in the therapy, the bone marrow is then spun in a centrifuge.

 

Those specific primitive stem cells are then re-injected into the area being treated. The stem cells help stimulate collagen production and healing in the disc or joint.

 

It’s important that a highly trained physician administers the therapy. The placement of the needle into the vertebral disc or facet joint is a precise procedure that requires professional expertise and experience.

 

As long as the therapy is performed by a qualified physician, there is very little risk. However, it’s possible that the injection can cause infection, bleeding, or nerve damage. 

 

3. Treat Disc Degeneration

 

The most common cause of back pain is disc degeneration and herniation. Disc degeneration and herniation are commonly caused by aging. But they can also be caused or exacerbated by Degenerative Disc Disorder, arthritis, and injury.

 

Disc degeneration is when the cells that make up the disc’s structure are continually being lost. As healthy cells are damaged and hydration is lost, tears can also occur in the disc. The result of disc degeneration is decreased mobility and function, stiffness, weakness, and pain. 

 

Stem cell therapy reinjects your adult stem cells into the damaged disc. The stem cells restore the height of the disc as well as hydration. The result is less pain and restored mobility.

 

4. Treat Facet Joint Dysfunction

 

The spinal facets joints are found on the back of either side of each spinal segment. Facet joint dysfunction can cause pain anywhere along the spine but it’s most commonly associated with neck and back pain. It’s usually caused by traumatic injuries such as whiplash as well as sport-related injuries.

 

Facet joint dysfunction can affect mobility and function. It can lead to stiffness, weakness, as well as pain.

 

Like treating disc degeneration, stem cell therapy treats facet joint dysfunction with your own adult stem cells. These are injected into damaged joints in order to restore their structure and alleviate symptoms.

 

5. Recover from Acute and Sub-Acute Injuries Faster

 

While stem cell therapy is mostly associated with treating chronic pain from degenerative discs, dysfunctional facet joints, and sciatica, it also shows promise for acute and sub-acute injuries. By using stem cells in the acute stages of an injury, recovery times can be significantly improved. 

 

6. Stem Cell Therapy Is Minimally Invasive

 

The first line of treatment for back pain and herniated discs is exercise and weight loss and physical therapy. Doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatories and pain medications.

 

When these treatments don’t work and the pain becomes too much, the last option is invasive spinal surgery. These involve general anesthesia and physical rehabilitation.

 

Spinal surgeries aren’t guaranteed to fully relieve symptoms. It’s not uncommon for patients to continue to experience pain and reduced mobility after spinal surgery. But stem cell therapy offers an alternative treatment that’s minimally invasive.

 

7. Stem Cell Treatment Offers Quick Relief

 

Some individuals experience relief from back pain after 1 stem cell therapy treatment of 2 to 3 injections. While most people see results within 3 months of receiving the therapy, others will feel the benefits sooner.

 

Are You Looking for Pain Relief?

 

The majority of American adults will experience some form of back pain in their life. Whether caused by degeneration, herniation, injury, or arthritis, the benefits of stem cell therapy are many.

 

Stem cell therapy has the potential to relieve pain and restore mobility. This holistic approach to treating chronic pain uses your own cell’s to restore damaged tissue and activate the healing process.

 

If you’re suffering from pain, read more about your treatment options on our blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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January 19, 2019 Lower Back8

 

The majority of people in the world will experience back pain in their lives. While many causes of back pain include injury and disorders, a shocking number of back pain cases range from improper lifting and bad posture.

 

A popular way to prevent back pain and improving posture is by wearing a back brace.

 

Back braces hold up your back in the best position, preventing strain while you’re sitting and standing. Back braces are perfect to wear while you’re at work, exercising, and for a variety of other situations.

 

Are you thinking about wearing a back brace? Here are a few benefits you’ll experience.

 

It is important to note, that back braces are not meant to be worn all the time. Listed below are some activities which maybe appropriate to wear a brace however it is not meant to be worn more than about 2 hours daily. Excessive use of a back brace can actually lead to muscle atrophy and weakening of your core.

 

Immobilization

 

Did you know immobilization is beneficial for your back and spine?

 

Unnecessary movement can help prevent back pain, especially if you had a past back injury or spinal surgery. In certain situations, immobilization is crucial for your back to heal properly.

 

This is where a back brace comes in. The brace prevents major movements in the back area. These movements include flexion, extension, and rotation.

 

This helps to prevent using your back to its full potential, preventing back pain and further injuries.

 

If you’re using a back brace to prevent mobility, make sure you buy the right kind of back brace. There are many different types of braces that offer more protection against mobility.

 

Improves Your Posture

 

Your spine should be in an upright position, your shoulders back, your chest up, and your core tucked in. But how many of us sit and stand in this position? Many of us slouch over, curving our spine.

 

This not only results in bad posture but severe back pain. Bad posture also causes spinal weakness and can even result in deformities and make you more prone to injuries.

 

What’s the best way to ensure your spine is in healthy alignment? A back brace will force your spine at a straightened position. Wear your back brace when you notice you start developing posture issues.

 

Prevents Back Pain

 

Back pain interferes with many aspects of our lives. It can make working, exercising, and even performing simple daily functions unbearable.

 

Back pain ranges from mild to severe. Those with mild cases experience back pain but it’s only a slight inconvenience. Others suffer from severe back pain, usually as a result of an injury or symptom of an event.

 

Those with all types of back pain notice that certain movements and positions exacerbate their back pain. In order for your back to heal, your back has to limit certain motions, as explained previously. This is where a back brace comes in.

 

A back brace prevents unnecessary movements that further damage the back. This helps align your spine and strengthen your back muscles. Your back can heal and your back pain will decrease.

 

Back braces also take support away from the vital areas of your back, such as the spine, invertebral discs, and vertebrae. This alleviates the stress these areas endure to support your back, resulting in pain reduction.

 

They’re Easy to Wear

 

While you think you may need a back brace, you’re wondering how you can wear it.

 

Fortunately, they’re easy to wear and you can often wear them under your clothes. That’s because they come in a design that’s easy to secure and isn’t as noticeable under clothes.

 

But there are some best practices when choosing a back brace.

 

First, wear the correct size. You’ll need some measurements, such as your clothes size and your back measurements.

 

When the back brace fully covers your lower back and tailbone, you’ll know you have the correct size. It also shouldn’t be too loose or too snug.

 

They Treat a Myriad of Back Conditions

 

While back braces are no cure, they can definitely help manage the symptoms of a myriad of different back conditions. These include:

 

  • Kyphosis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Back muscle sprains
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal tumors
  • Spinal fractures
  • Whiplash
  • Spondylolisthesis

 

Before trying back bracing as a treatment, discuss your options with your doctor.

 

All back ailments are different and require varying levels of treatment. There are also different types of back braces – one type may benefit you more than another.

 

It’s a Holistic Treatment Option

 

Because of pain pill addiction, many pain patients are seeking holistic pain relief options. If back pain is your struggle, a back brace is an effective holistic treatment option.

 

Back braces don’t simply cover up the pain.

 

They work by improving your posture, supporting your back, and strengthening your back muscles. This helps take away a lot of stress on your back, healing your back and spine and preventing pain altogether.

 

Back braces also prevent your back condition from worsening. You’ll be less risk of injury, developing more pain and developing other back and spine ailments.

 

Helps Strengthen Your Core and Back

 

Are you trying to get in better shape? Wearing a back brace offers a myriad of strengthening benefits for both your back and your core.

 

Your core is the center of your body. Your core should be the area supporting your body – not your back. But many people have a weak core, so the support falls on their back. But this leads to pain and even injury.

 

A back brace forces a straight spine and a tucked tummy. This forces your abdominal muscles to take in the support you’re forcing upon your back, helping strengthen your abdomen.

 

In addition, a back brace will help strengthen your back and spine by forcing the muscles into alignment.

 

For the best strengthening benefits, wear fitness-specific back braces. These are ideal to wear while exercising.

 

Is a Back Brace Not Enough?

 

Is your back pain becoming so severe, a back brace isn’t enough to treat your pain? You’ll need some help. We treat a myriad of different pain conditions. If you’re in New Jersey, make an appointment with us today.

 

 

 


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January 16, 2019 Lower Back0

Did you know that the spine is very flexible? In fact, if you bent it as far as it could go, it would make about 2/3 of a complete circle.

However, as almost everyone knows, a small pain in the back has a huge impact. But what if that pain represents a much bigger problem? Women over 40 are susceptible to bone mass loss because of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a reduction in the mass of the spongy inner bone. The spongy tissue gives the hard outer bone its strength. As this fails, bones become weaker, break easier and take longer to heal.

In the back, this can lead to a very severe problem called spinal compression fractures.

The vertebrae don’t break in half as we think of other bones breaking. Instead, they crush inward. This tends to happen when doing a simple task which puts increased pressure on the bone.

Keep reading to learn the most important things you need to know about the treatment of this condition.

Treatments Options Not Requiring Surgery

Surgery isn’t always the first option when dealing with spinal compression fractures. In fact, surgery may not be necessary at all.

1. Pain Meds

A doctor will try to reduce your pain first. Pain tells us when something is wrong. In many cases, OTC pain meds reduce most of the pain.

Sometimes, OTC meds are not enough. The doctor will then prescribe a specific mixture to relieve the various types of pain. Because of the type and location of the bone, you will have muscle, bone and nerve pain.

In some cases, doctors will give you small doses of muscle relaxers or anti-depressants.

2. Bed Rest

Sometimes the fracture is severe enough to warrant a few days of bed rest. A few days to start the healing process will suffice.

Because osteoporosis worsens from lack of movement, extended bed rest isn’t a good idea. The rest begins the healing process, so you can start moving again and attacking the weakness at its source.

3. Back Brace

Most spinal compression fractures occur in the transition between the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. These are the vertebrae between your chest and your lower back.

Fractures are more common here because of the increased flexibility of the joints. A brace will greatly reduce that flexibility and prevent aggravating the injury further.

When getting a brace, remember the key to an effective brace. The less comfortable the brace, the more effective it will be.

4. Treating Osteoporosis

You have rested a couple days. Your pain meds are working. And you are wearing your brace with almost religious fervor, what next?

The cause of the fracture needs to be determined in order for treatment to continue. If osteoporosis caused the fracture, the doctor will want to get that under control.

Once one vertebra has fractured, the chance of surrounding bones breaking increases. As with most diseases, a multifaceted approach to treatment builds the best defense.

Dietarily, increase your intake of calcium and vitamin D from foods before reaching for pills. Small fish, seaweed, and leafy greens provide high doses of calcium. Vitamin D resides in dairy, salmon, eggs, and mushrooms.

Exercise will slowly be incorporated into your treatment as well. Free weight put small amounts of stress on the spine and bones to cause them to grow.

Hormone therapy can slow the rate bone breakdown, or speed the rate of bone rebuilding. Either choice benefits the strength of bones.

Other medications will help regulate or increase calcium availability in the body.

Surgical Spinal Compression Fracture Treatment

Most surgical options use some sort of bone cement to treat the fracture.

5. Vertebroplasty

Vertebroplasty involves inserting a needle, guided by an x-ray, into the spongy tissue. Once there, the needle injects bone cement into the spongy tissue.

The cement hardens within minutes and patients can go home the same day in most cases. This has proven effective for restoring patient function, but not for pain.

6. Kyphoplasty

Kyphoplasty or balloon kyphoplasty developed as the next generation of vertebroplasty. One needle is still inserted into the spongy tissue of the bone and guided by an x-ray.

However, a balloon comes out the tip of the needle first. With gentle inflation, it restores the vertebra to nearly the original shape. Then, after deflating and withdrawing the balloons, surgeons inject bone cement into the cavity.

This procedure restores patient function, reduces pain. What’s more, it brings the spine back to a natural curvature.

This last point makes it more effective at treating the potential long-term deformities of spinal compression fractures.

Time is of The Essence

If you have pain in your back lasting more than a few days, that warning needs attention. Or if you have noticed a sharp drop in your mobility seek medical care.

Spinal compression fractures become more common as your age goes beyond 40. And waiting for more than a few weeks can result in permanent body damage.

For more information on the debilitating fractures or to make an appointment, get in touch with us here.


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January 13, 2019 Lower Back0

 

Did you know that 54 percent of Americans have suffered from chronic back pain for five years or more? Are you one of them?

 

Some people blame stress for their back pain, while others blame injuries or poor posture. Some have no idea at all what’s causing their pain.

 

If you’ve been wondering, “why does my back hurt?” keep reading. Some common causes of back pain — along with tips on how to relieve that pain — are explained below.

 

Why Does My Back Hurt?

 

There are lots of issues that can contribute to chronic back pain. Some common causes include:

 

Spinal Sprains or Strains

 

Often, back pain can be attributed to an injury like a sprain (stretched or torn ligament) or a strain (stretched or torn muscle). If you’ve been in a car accident or involved in a sports injury, you could have sustained a strain or a sprain.

 

These injuries can also stem from simply overstretching when reaching overhead or reaching behind you to grab something.

 

Sacroiliac Joint Inflammation

 

If the cartilage surrounding the sacroiliac joint, which is located at the junction of the spine and the pelvis, becomes irritated or inflamed, it can lead to pain in the lower back.

 

Instability and inflammation to this joint often result from acute injuries, chronic wear and tear, or a side effect of a condition like arthritis.

 

Spinal Stenosis

 

Spinal stenosis is a condition that occurs when the spinal canal begins to narrow. This narrowing puts pressure on the spine and the nerves. This can lead to pain in the back as well as numbness in the legs and arms.

 

Spinal stenosis most commonly affects elderly individuals.

 

Herniated Discs

 

Many people’s back pain is also caused by disc disorders, including herniated discs.

 

A herniated disc is a type of injury that occurs when the soft tissue between the vertebrae in your spine slip out of place. Once they’ve slipped out of place, they may irritate the nerves and cause back pain.

 

Herniated discs can be caused by everyday wear and tear or by acute accidents or injuries.

 

Arthritis

 

There are many different forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage and bones begin breaking down. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the joint tissue.

 

Back pain can be a symptom of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Scoliosis

 

Scoliosis is a condition that involves an abnormal curvature of the spine.

 

Many people are born with scoliosis and don’t notice any serious side effects. But, if you develop scoliosis later in life, you will likely experience back pain as a result.

 

Lifestyle Triggers

 

There are many different lifestyle activities and factors that can cause or contribute to back pain. Common lifestyle triggers for back pain include:

 

  • Sitting at a desk all day
  • Lifting heavy objects, either occasionally or as a part of your daily routine
  • Not exercising
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Sleeping on an old or unsupportive mattress

 

Wearing high heels can also contribute to chronic back pain since these shoes often alter one’s posture and spinal alignment.

 

How to Prevent and Treat Back Pain

 

As you can see, there are a lot of reasons why you might be experiencing chronic back pain. The good news, though, is that there are also lots of strategies you can utilize to treat your back pain and keep it at bay.

 

The following are some of the most well-known and effective techniques to relieve back pain and prevent it:

 

Change Your Sleep Situation

 

If it’s been a long time since you last changed your mattress, you may want to consider an upgrade.

 

Getting a more comfortable, supportive mattress can make a world of difference for folks struggling with chronic back pain.

 

Chiropractic Adjustments

 

Many people experience back pain relief being adjusted by a chiropractor. Adjustments can help realign the spine to minimize pain and reduce inflammation.

 

Many chiropractors also specialize in helping people who are suffering from herniated discs.

 

A study released in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2017 did a comprehensive review of spinal manipulative treatment for acute low back pain and found moderate benefit but more importantly, almost no harm or further damage from doing so.

 

Massage

 

If your back pain was brought on by an injury like a strain or sprain, you might be able to find relief from a deep tissue massage.

 

Yoga

 

Research shows that a regular yoga practice can be very helpful to folks who struggle with low back pain. Even going to just one or two classes a week can make a difference.

 

Strength Training

 

By strengthening the muscles, especially the muscles of the back and core, you can improve your range of motion and prevent future injuries.

 

Are You Looking for Back Pain Relief?

 

Are you tired of wondering, “why does my back hurt?” Are you ready to get to the root of the problem and figure out what’s causing your pain?

 

Keep this information in mind to start getting to the root of your back pain and learning how you can treat it and prevent it from coming back in the future.

 

If you’ve tried home remedies and haven’t found any relief, you might want to consider working with a pain management specialist. 

 

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more about our procedures and services that will help you experience back pain relief. 

 

 

 


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January 9, 2019 Spinal Cord Stimulator0

Do you often experience back pain at the end of the day? If so, you’re not alone. Roughly 80 percent of Americans will have back pain at some point in their lives.

But what do you do when your back pain is constant? Chronic back pain is more than just an annoyance. It can make it harder to do everyday tasks and may even prevent you from working.

If you’ve tried medication, back braces, trigger point injections, or any of the other numerous treatment options and are still feeling pain, it may be time to try spinal cord stimulation.

Do you want to learn more about this treatment for chronic back pain and all of the advantages it offers? Then keep reading!

What Is Spinal Cord Stimulation?

Wondering what exactly spinal cord stimulation is?

Well, it’s a type of surgery where a small battery-powered device is implanted near your spine. It then delivers mild electric currents to your spinal cord to block pain signals before they reach your brain.

You can control the electric currents with an external remote control. You can also turn the device on and off if you wish.

Now that you have a basic idea of what spinal cord stimulation is, let’s talk about why it may be the best option for you. We’ve listed the primary advantages of this treatment below.

1. It’s Adjustable

No two patients are alike. So it makes sense that the perfect solution to your chronic pain would be customized to you and your pain levels throughout the day.

Spinal cord stimulation does just that. You can adjust the level of electric currents from day to day or throughout the day as needed. If the pain gets worse, feel free to increase the electric currents to give yourself relief.

2. It’s Reversible

Of course, not every treatment works for every person. You may find that spinal cord stimulation isn’t for you.

You can have peace of mind knowing that this procedure is reversible. A surgeon can remove the implant and other accompanying equipment, and you won’t be left with any long-lasting side effects.

3. You Go through a Trial Run

Are you still a little worried that this treatment won’t work for you? Well, you’ll get a chance to experience a taste of spinal cord stimulation before undergoing surgery.

That’s right – it’s become commonplace to undergo a trial period first. How many other procedures can say that?

During this trial period, a temporary lead will be placed over specific nerves. You’ll wear an external generator on a belt that will let you see how effective this treatment will be.

If it turns out it’s not for you, you can walk away and research other options with no harm done.

4. You Won’t Need Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs are a common treatment plan for those with chronic pain. However, there are quite a few downfalls.

Depending on your insurance, you may be paying a large sum out-of-pocket to get your prescriptions. This can cause a huge financial strain since you’ll need to keep paying for them month after month.

Additionally, taking prescription painkillers over a long period of time can result in addiction and drug abuse. In fact, roughly two million Americans have a substance abuse problem that stems from prescription painkillers.

Spinal cord stimulation can help reduce the painkillers you take and may even allow you to stop using them completely. Not only will this help you save money in the long run, but it’ll decrease your risk of addiction. 

5. Almost No Side Effects

Does your current medication make you feel drowsy or nauseous? Unfortunately, both prescription and over-the-counter medications typically come with a long list of side effects.

Spinal cord simulation works by blocking pain signals in one specific area. This means you won’t have to worry about any side effects that affect other parts of your body.

In fact, there are very few side effects to this option, and many people don’t experience any at all. 

6. Fast Recovery Time

The possibility of getting surgery is always a scary thought. You may also be worried about the long recovery time that could keep you out of work.

However, this isn’t a problem with spinal cord stimulation. You’ll experience mild discomfort for a few days after surgery, but that’s it. You won’t have to worry about taking weeks or months off from work to recover.

7. It’s Convenient

Alright, so getting surgery is never really convenient. But compared to other treatment options, spinal cord stimulation is, in fact, convenient.

You won’t need to worry about hitting the pharmacy every month for prescription refills or seeing your doctor every few weeks. You also won’t have to worry about long recovery periods that are needed for other types of spinal surgery.

Instead, you’ll go through your trial run, have the surgery, and be back to work in no time. You can continue this treatment plan for years without the need for regular doctor appointments.

Say Goodbye to Chronic Back Pain for Good

Don’t let chronic back pain stop you from living your best life. If you feel like you’ve exhausted all your other options, it may be time to give spinal cord stimulation a try.

Request an appointment with us today to discuss spinal cord stimulation or other treatment options. We can help you manage pain in many areas of the body, from your head to your feet.


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