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Worrying about bladder mishaps in your daily life can certainly keep you from doing the things you love most. Luckily, a bladder stimulator is a great option for those suffering from a number of different bladder conditions. Continue reading to learn more about bladder stimulators which may be right for you.

Symptoms of Bladder Control Problems

Common symptoms of bladder control problems may include:

  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Inability to hold urine/leaking 
  • Inability to urinate 
  • Incomplete bladder emptying

Bladder Conditions 

While symptoms may vary there are four common types of bladder conditions:

Overactive Bladder (OAB): OAB is an umbrella term that includes the frequent and urgent need to empty your bladder. 

Urinary Incontinence: The inability to control when the bladder releases urine.

Urinary Retention: The inability to empty the bladder. People with this condition are unable to urinate or they feel frequent urges but only urinate small amounts.

Fecal Incontinence: Also known as accidental bowel leakage, is a condition where people get sudden urges to pass stool and experience leakage of stool before they make it to the restroom.

The Solution: A Bladder Stimulator

A bladder stimulator is a small device implanted in your back at the base of your spine and above the buttocks during a procedure known as sacral nerve stimulation (SNS). The sacral nerves carry the signals between your bladder, spinal cord, and brain that tell you when you need to urinate. This is done after exhausting conventional treatment options such as pelvic floor physical therapy and medications. 

At GSMC, we use a long-term relief technology called Axonics Therapy. Before committing to long-term therapy, our team first does a trial with the patient to see if the treatment works for each and every patient. A thin thin wire is carefully placed close to the third sacral nerve through a needle. The wire connects to a battery-powered device (similar to a pacemaker) called a pulse generator that you wear outside your body during a three day trial period. If the symptoms get significantly better the device is put in permanently and can last up to 15 years. 

The actual electrical stimulation that is used to treat urinary incontinence sends a mild electric current to nerves in the lower back/pelvic muscles which are involved in urination. The patient does not feel this electrical stimulation but the nerves do leading to symptoms improvement. 

Think you may be a candidate for a bladder stimulator? Call to set up your consultation and begin the recovery process today: 732-202-3000


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It’s no question that a fracture or break in one of your spine’s vertebrae can be painful and impact your daily life tremendously when unable to move freely. Luckily, kyphoplasty is a procedure designed to stop the pain, stabilize the bone, and restore lost vertebral height caused by the injury. Continue reading to learn about what the procedure entails, who would be a candidate, and the recovery process. 

Candidates for Kyphoplasty

Kyphoplasty is used to treat spinal compression fractures, which occur in the spinal vertebrae when weakened by osteoporosis or due to trauma such as falling or a  car accident. Compression fractures typically occur in the thoracic region of the spine, which includes the T1 through T12 vertebrae, but may also occur in the lumbar spine, or L1 through L5.

The GSMC team recommends performing a kyphoplasty within 8 weeks of the fracture taking place for the best results when it comes to restoring the spine’s original height.

Performing Kyphoplasty

Patients are given moderate sedation (similar to a colonoscopy) during the 20-minute procedure. After instilling local anesthesia, a small stab incision is made in the patient’s back through which a narrow tube is carefully placed into the broken vertebral body using x-ray guidance. Once properly placed, a cavity is created to allow proper placement of a cement-like material called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) as well as to restore the natural height and shape of the vertebral body. This medical cement hardens very quickly to internally cast and stabilize the bone within minutes.

Kyphoplasty Recovery

Kyphoplasty is an outpatient procedure and when completed, the patient is monitored in the post-anesthesia care unit for approximately 20-30 minutes. Once a patient is awake enough to get dressed, eat, and drink they are discharged home. Many patients start to feel improvement as they are leaving the recovery room; the overwhelming majority of patients will feel significant relief within 24 hours of the procedure. 

While normal activities, with exception to driving, can be resumed immediately, our team recommends avoiding strenuous activities for at least 6 weeks. 

Risks and Complications of Kyphoplasty

As with any medical procedure, there are always risks and complications to consider. For the most part, complications are rare due to our highly skilled and experienced doctors who perform this procedure on a weekly basis.

Specifically for kyphoplasty, complications may include:

  • Nerve damage or a spinal cord injury from malpositioned instruments placed in the back
  • Nerve injury or spinal cord compression from leaking of the PMMA 
  • Allergic reaction to polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)

Think you may be a candidate for kyphoplasty? for Call to set up your consultation and begin the recovery process today: 1-888-376-2661


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As the spinal cord is part of the central nervous system, its proper function is critical to an individual’s quality of life. The central nervous system controls the body’s sensory information (pressure, touch, temperature, pain) which travels in established pathways into the spinal cord and onto the brain where the signals are interpreted into the different experiences. When the spinal cord is damaged, it can lead to a variety of symptoms including: loss of movement, difficulty breathing, loss of bowel/bladder control, and many others. Continue reading to learn when a spinal cord stimulator may be necessary to correct a patient’s condition and allow them to live pain-free.

What is a Spinal Cord Stimulator?

A spinal cord stimulator (SCS) is a small surgically implanted device which transmits electrical pulses that disrupt the transmission of pain signals reducing or eliminating pain from almost any part of the body. It is believed that electric pulses prevent pain signals from being received from the brain. The device itself consists of thin wires (the electrodes) and a small, pacemaker-like battery(the generator). Once implanted, the individual can control the electrical signals from an external wireless programmer to adjust the stimulation, switch between programs, and turn it on/off to alleviate the pain.

What Is a Spinal Cord Stimulator?

What is Spinal Cord Stimulation Used For?

Spinal cord stimulators can be an option for patients with a myriad of conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Spinal stenosis 
  • Neuropathy
  • Pinched nerves
  • Post-knee replacement pain
  • Post-hip replacement pain
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • Failed back surgery syndrome
  • Shingles pain
  • Peripheral vascular disease

Spinal Cord Stimulator Surgery

If you’re a candidate for a spinal cord stimulator, it’s important to understand that there are 2 separate procedures you must undergo; the trial and the implantation. 

Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial

  • Before the device is permanently placed, the GSMC team will implant a temporary device for three to ten days  to see if it can help to alleviate the long-term pain. During the implantation process, the electrode is placed through a needle into the spine and the generator is taped to the back so that no incisions are made. During the trial period, the patient will be able to test the device for improved pain relief and function. If the patient notes significant improvement, they may elect to proceed with the implanted device. the.

Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation

  • After the trial is complete and if the patient notes significant improvement in pain relief and function, we will move forward with the second procedure which is to implant the device underneath the skin. During the procedure, the trial electrodes are replaced with sterile electrodes and are carefully placed along the spinal cord. The generator is then placed underneath the skin located above  the buttocks.  

Both procedures are done under light sedation and patient’s are able to return home the same day.

Types of Spinal Cord Stimulators

When it comes to types of spinal cord stimulators, the GSMC team recommends conventional and rechargeable generators to their patients. The main difference being that with a rechargeable stimulator, you can recharge it without another surgery versus a conventional stimulator requiring another surgery. Rechargeable systems tend to last longer, but must be charged 1-2 times a week (noninvasive) while conventional stimulators have no ongoing upkeep, but its battery needs to be replaced sooner.

There are a number of different manufacturers of the device, each having proprietary software to deliver the energy in unique ways. Some stimulators give patients a tingling feeling while others feel nothing other than pain relief. The majority of the systems that our team uses are also MRI compatible as well.

Spinal Cord Stimulator Recovery

Once the implantation is complete, patients are discharged the same day, typically within an hour after their procedure has finished.  In the days following, it is common to feel pain around the incision sites, with the full healing taking between 2-4 weeks. During that time, we recommend taking it easy and avoiding any activities that may aggravate the areas. However, often 1 week after the surgery patients are able to return to work and go about their normal activities.

Interested in learning if you’re a candidate for a spinal cord stimulator? Call to set up your consultation today: 1-888-376-2661


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June 9, 2021 Pain Management0

From headaches to foot pain, it’s only human to experience pain from time to time. However, chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts 3-6 months or longer in some cases. Pain experienced on a day to day basis is often deep-rooted in more serious conditions which require medical attention and the earlier they’re treated, the better. Check out six common signs that it’s time to ditch the over-the-counter medication and finally see a pain management doctor. 

Signs It’s Time to See a Pain Management Doctor

  1. You’re struggling to perform everyday tasks

Your day to day can be stressful enough, so pain brought on by doing simple tasks such as reaching in a high cabinet or opening a door shouldn’t add to it. While it’s not uncommon for an injury or pain to flare up and cause these struggles, if they’re lasting for an extended period of time it is certainly something to take note of.

  1. You’re experiencing radiating pain

Once the pain you’re experiencing begins to radiate throughout a limb or part of your body, it’s definitely a sign to see a pain management specialist. In addition to the radiating pain feeling, look out for numbness, tingling, and other similar sensations. These feelings are often associated with pinched nerves, the slipping of discs, and other serious conditions that need medical attention.

  1. You’re having trouble sleeping due to the pain

If your pain is keeping you up through the night, it’s definitely time to see a pain management doctor. Your body needs that time to rest, and if pain is getting in the way, it will begin to affect even more aspects of your health. 

  1. Over-the-counter medication isn’t working

While pain relievers are okay in small quantities, they won’t solve the cause of your pain and therefore you’re only delaying your recovery process. Also, even over the counter medications can cause serious health conditions if taken for prolonged periods. Our team’s procedures and expertise work to reduce patients’ need for painkillers to allow them to live pain-free faster.

  1. The pain persists with a specific motion

Whether it’s bending over or walking up the stairs, our board-certified pain management doctors will perform a full-body examination in order to pinpoint the root of your pain. From there, we’ll be able to utilize interventional pain management techniques to provide well-deserved relief.

  1. You’re no longer able to perform hobbies and activities you love

We all have hobbies and activities that make us who we are. Whether it is golf or gardening, these activities have both mental and physical benefits. When we stop activities we love, we lose a lot more than a pastime. Activity avoidance can lead to changes in your mood making the toll of chronic pain substantially worse. If you are struggling to get back in the game, our pain experts can help diagnose the problem and get you moving again!

Stop Living with Pain

Ready to get back to a pain-free life? From the ability to sleep through the night to getting back to exercising, no matter what your health goals are, Garden State Medical Center’s pain management doctors are here to help you reach them. 

Call to set up your consultation and begin the recovery process today: 1-888-376-2661


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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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