If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from lower back pain, you’re not alone. Back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit their doctor, and it can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, nerve compression, and chronic conditions like arthritis. But who should you consult for back pain, and what should you expect when you seek treatment? As a group of pain centers led by board-certified interventional pain specialists, we at New Jersey Back Center are here to help.
When to Seek Medical Attention
While many cases of back pain can be treated with non-invasive therapies like physical therapy and over-the-counter pain relievers, there are times when you should seek medical attention right away. If you experience unexplained weight loss, or if your pain is accompanied by fever, chills, or other symptoms of illness, it could be a sign of a medical emergency. Additionally, if you’ve been in a car accident or suffered a fall or other injury that caused your back pain, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Possible Causes of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Muscle strain: This is the most common cause of lower back pain, usually caused by overexertion, lifting heavy objects, or sudden movements that strain the muscles and ligaments in the back.
- Herniated or bulging disc: This occurs when the soft tissue between the vertebrae in the spine bulges or ruptures, putting pressure on nerves and causing pain.
- Arthritis: This is a chronic condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints, including those in the spine.
- Spinal stenosis: This is a narrowing of the spinal canal, which puts pressure on nerves and can cause pain and other symptoms.
- Osteoporosis: This is a condition in which the bones become brittle and weak, making them more prone to fractures and other injuries.
- Sciatica: This is a condition in which the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down to the legs, is compressed or irritated, causing pain and other symptoms.
Risk Factors for Chronic Back Pain
While back pain can affect anyone, there are certain risk factors that can increase your chances of developing chronic back pain. These include:
- Age: As we age, the risk of developing conditions like arthritis and spinal stenosis increases, which can lead to chronic back pain.
- Poor posture: Sitting or standing for long periods in a slouched or hunched position can put extra strain on your back muscles and lead to pain.
- Lack of exercise: A sedentary lifestyle can weaken your back muscles and make you more prone to injury and pain.
- Smoking: Smoking can impair blood flow to the spine and increase the risk of back pain.
- Obesity: Carrying excess weight can put added pressure on your back and increase your risk of developing chronic pain.
Diagnosing the Root Cause of Your Pain
When you visit us at New Jersey Back Center, we’ll start by getting to the bottom of what’s causing your pain. Our team of specialists has years of experience in diagnosing and treating back pain, and we use the latest diagnostic tools and techniques to pinpoint the root cause of your symptoms. We’ll take a detailed medical history and perform a thorough physical exam, and we may order imaging tests like X-rays or MRIs to get a better look at your spine and surrounding structures.
Minimally Invasive Pain Treatments
Once we’ve diagnosed the underlying cause of your pain, we’ll develop a personalized treatment plan that’s tailored to your needs. At New Jersey Back Center, we only offer minimally invasive pain treatments that are designed to address the root cause of your pain without resorting to surgery or opioids. Our treatments include injection therapies like epidural steroid injections and nerve blocks, as well as regenerative therapies like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy.
The following are some of the treatments we offer for back pain:
- Injection therapies: We use injection therapies like epidural steroid injections and nerve blocks to target the source of your pain and reduce inflammation.
- Regenerative therapies: We use regenerative therapies like PRP and stem cell therapy to help promote healing and repair damaged tissues.
- Physical therapy: We work closely with physical therapists to design customized exercise programs that can help strengthen your back muscles and reduce your risk of future injury.
- Lifestyle modifications: We may recommend changes to your diet, exercise routine, or other aspects of your lifestyle to help reduce your risk of back pain and improve your overall health.
Preventing Back Pain
While not all cases of back pain can be prevented, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. These include:
- Maintaining good posture when sitting or standing
- Staying active and incorporating exercise into your daily routine
- Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight
- Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
- Taking frequent breaks if you must sit or stand for long periods
Choosing the Right Doctor for Your Back Pain
Choosing the right doctor to help you manage your back pain can be a daunting task, but there are a few things to keep in mind when making your decision. Look for a doctor who:
- Specializes in treating back pain: A doctor who specializes in treating back pain will have the training and experience necessary to help you manage your symptoms and reduce your risk of future injury.
- Offers minimally invasive treatments: Minimally invasive treatments are typically safer and have fewer side effects and risks than surgery or opioids.
- Takes a holistic approach: A doctor who takes a holistic approach to treatment will look at all aspects of your health and lifestyle to design a personalized treatment plan that works for you.
Contact Us at New Jersey Back Center
If you’re experiencing back pain, we’re here to help. At New Jersey Back Center, we offer comprehensive, personalized treatment options for back pain, led by board-certified interventional pain specialists. We only offer minimally invasive treatments and we always diagnose the root cause of your pain to develop a customized treatment plan that works for you.
At New Jersey Back Center, we have four convenient locations to serve you: Clifton, West Orange, Paramus, and Woodland Park. Each of our locations is staffed by our team of board-certified interventional pain specialists, and we offer the same high level of care and expertise at each location. Additionally, we offer free insurance verification before your first appointment to help make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Contact us to schedule your free insurance verification and start your pain relief journey.