For those suffering chronic back or neck pain, the effects can be more than just physical.  The mental toll of chronic pain can effect quality of life, decision making and overall attitude. Many patients just want to find relief in the quickest and most effective way possible.  While surgery could be an option, it is important for a patient to educate themselves first by learning about their condition and their treatment options.
1. Are you in constant pain?   
Much of the back or neck pain many patients suffer is known as “acute” pain and is generally the result of overexertion or muscle strain.  This type of injury will usually resolve itself within a few days with over the counter medications and rest.  If pain is not subsiding and becomes constant, it is what is known as “chronic” pain and is often a sign of an underlying spinal condition.

When pain becomes chronic, it is important to consult a spine specialist to evaluate the cause of the pain.

2. Have You Tried Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is commonly recommended before a patient considers surgery as an option. Many conditions can be treated with physical therapy, allowing the patient to avoid surgery all together. Physical therapists often focus on strengthening the muscles of the core (abdomen and lower back).  By strengthening these muscles, posture often improves.  Proper posture and core strength have been proven to have a direct correlation to lower back pain.

If physical therapy has not provided long term relief, it may be time to consult a spine specialist.

3. Is Your Quality of Life Affected?  

Constant back or neck pain pain can put severely affect quality of life for many patients.  Patients often complain about struggling to pick up their children, climbing stairs, bending over or doing anything they were accustomed to doing.  These limitations can make patients feel like they are a shell of who they once were.  A spine specialist can often create a treatment plan where the goal is relieving the chronic pain and returning patients to the active and healthy lifestyle they once enjoyed.

4. Does Pain Radiate into Your Arms/Legs?

Back and neck pain are not always confined to the back or neck and many patients experience pain the radiates into the extremities.  Pain radiating into the legs is often referred to as Sciatica and is a sign of an underlying condition in which a portion of the spinal disc or spinal bones are pressing on the nerve roots of the spine.  If this type of pain exists in the upper extremities, it is known as Radiculopathy.

Because this type of pain is a sign of an underlying condition, it is important to immediately consult a spine specialist if:

  • Back pain is coupled with bladder or bowel dysfunction
  • Back or neck pain accompanied by leg or arm pain, or leg or arm weakness
  • Back or neck pain following any trauma such as an auto accident, or a fall
  • Back pain accompanied by an inability of the feet to function properly

The spine specialists at New Jersey Spinal Medicine and Surgery treat conditions of the cervical and lumbar spine using both non-surgical and surgical modalities.  New Jersey Spinal Medicine and Surgery is led by Dr. Dante Implicito and Dr. John Koerner and has offices in Glen Rock and Maywood, NJ. Both physicians have extensive training and experience in the utilization of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery techniques as well as non-surgical techniques.

While here at New Jersey Spinal Medicine and Surgery, all steps in your treatment will be clearly reviewed with you by our outstanding and expert team.  Our goal is to ensure your return to the healthy and active lifestyle you enjoyed in the quickest and most effective way possible.  Each patient is an individual and must be treated like an individual.  Our doctors emphasize a personalized and individualized treatment plan for all of their patients that aim to ensure that each patient is educated and informed when it comes to their procedure.

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