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Common Injuries

a meniscus tear can be one of the most painful knee injuries.

Everything You Need to Know about a Meniscus Tear

A meniscus tear can be excruciating like many knee injuries is no exception. Meniscus injuries are one of the most common injuries to the knee cartilage. The meniscus is the piece of cartilage that stabilizes and cushions. The knee joint protects the bones from rubbing against each other. Twisting the knee can cause the meniscus to tear; sometimes, a piece of broken-off cartilage can become lodged in the knee joint and cause it to lock up. Athletes often experience meniscus injuries, particularly older athletes.

Meniscus Tear Symptoms

Signs that point to a meniscus injury include knee pain and swelling. You may also notice a popping sensation when the damage occurs. Some people also have trouble either straightening or bending the knee. Or, the knee joint locks up or become “stuck.” The pain of a meniscus tear is not always severe at first, but it will usually intensify.

Meniscus Tear Treatment

The right treatment depends on a few factors such as the location and size of the tear or the age and activity level of the patient. If the damage is in the outer section of the meniscus, it may heal on its own as this area has good blood flow. However, the inner area does not; tears in this zone will require medical treatment. That doesn’t necessarily mean surgery – there are more conservative treatments to try first, and these are often successful. Many people achieve healing by resting the knee, icing the injured area, compressing and elevating the knee, taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, and doing specific exercises to strengthen and stretch the knee. If you do require surgery, the procedure is a simple one, and most patients return home the same day.

Meniscus Teat Recovery Time

The length of recovery time will differ from person to person and injury to injury. If you have surgery, full recovery can take up to six weeks depending on factors such as the type of procedure. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions for recuperating. Don’t rush it – you shouldn’t return to your normal levels of physical activity until your knee can fully bend and straighten without pain, there is no more swelling, and you feel no pain at all when you walk, run, or jump. Putting too much stress on your knee before it’s healed can exacerbate your injury.

Meniscus Tear Prevention

Most meniscus injuries are accidents and therefore difficult to prevent. However, there are some precautions you can take to minimize your risk of a meniscus tear. Keeping your leg muscles strong with regular exercise can help, as can warming up before beginning a strenuous workout. You should also avoid pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion and be sure to give yourself enough recovery time between workouts. If you want to increase the intensity at which you’re working out, do so slowly and gradually – never escalate the intensity suddenly. Stretch after exercise to keep your body flexible and make sure the shoes you’re wearing are suitable for your activity and offer enough support.

If you think you may have sustained a meniscus injury, contact Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine. We can help.

pain specialists ramsey nj

Text Neck: A Modern Health Concern

Text Neck: A Modern Health Concern

If you’re like us, you probably use your phone a lot.

Also, if you’re like us, you probably aren’t always aware of the posture you assume while using it (or any other tablet, laptop, or digital device).

Hint: chances are, it looks something like this:

  • Head and neck flexed down and forward
  • Upper back rounded
  • Shoulders hunched and internally rotated
  • Elbows bent and tucked in to the sides

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this posture per se, it can cause significant problems when you assume this position for prolonged periods of time, day in and day out.

What is Text Neck? Causes and Top Signs & Symptoms

Text neck is a clinical syndrome caused by excessive smartphone or digital device use, during which time a person is hunched over in the classic “texting” position described above. After hours and hours in that forwardly flexed position, the connective tissues in the head, neck, shoulders, and back can become strained, tense, and irritated.

Of course, reading and other activities can also resemble this position, but people tend to use their phones a lot more and a lot longer, thus contributing to this so-called “modern problem.”

Symptoms of text neck include:

  • Stiff, sore, and tender neck
  • Pain in the neck, which may be described as achy, dull, or even sharp
  • Pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility in the shoulders
  • Muscle spasms and knots in the back
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain and dysfunction (e.g., clicking or misalignment)

If a nerve in the neck or shoulder area is impinged by repeated exposure to this closed in, flexed forward posture, additional neurological symptoms can develop including numbness, tingling, or even eventually weakness in the arms, hands, or fingers.

Beyond causing real-time problems now, text neck can even increase your risk of chronic health issues including osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, and spinal misalignments.

How to Prevent Text Neck (And How Our Ramsey Pain Management Team Can Help)

Ramsey pain doctors Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy spend a lot of time educating their patients on ways to improve their body mechanics in order to minimize symptoms of dysfunction, and in recent years discussions about cell phone habits has been an essential part of these conversations.

Here are a few key things to try more often when using your cell phone:

  • Hold your phone at eye level
  • Keep your chin level (not pointed up or down)
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Take frequent breaks

In addition to minding your posture better, you can also alleviate your text neck symptoms by consulting with Dr. Ferrer, Dr. McElroy, or another one of our orthopedic and rehabilitative team members. Our services, which include osteopathic manipulations, physical therapy, electro-acupuncture, and more, can reduce your symptoms as you learn to adopt safer technology habits.

Is Your Neck Bothering You? Our Pain Management in Ramsey Can Help You Get to the Bottom of it

Have you ever thought about how your technology habits are impacting your body? Our multidisciplinary pain management team in Ramsey can help you shed some light on your posture and smart phone use and help you figure out if and how it’s impacting your health. Give Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine a call today at (201) 962-9199, or feel free to contact us via email.

Pain Management Office Ramsey NJ

Treatments We Offer For Shoulder Pain

Treatments We Offer For Shoulder Pain

At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, you can find the best of what non-surgical orthopedic and rehabilitative care has to offer all with the convenience of being under one roof. No need to jostle back and forth between your primary care doc and specialists all over town. We’ve got the experienced and multidisciplinary team right here in Ramsey, NJ!

One of the most common complaints that people come to us with is acute or chronic shoulder dysfunction. Dr. Steven FerrerDr. Kevin McElroy, and the rest of our team are proud to offer a wide range of services that can address both the causes and symptoms of your shoulder pain, providing you effective and long-lasting relief.

Our Comprehensive & Multidisciplinary Approach to Shoulder Pain in Bergen County

Whether your shoulder problem is caused by arthritis, bursitis, a muscle strain, ligament sprain, tendonitis, or some other condition, we encourage you to consult with our team, who are area-leaders in Bergen County pain management care. Our staff is knowledgeable, highly trained, and highly experienced in a variety of specialized, drug-free, and non-surgical techniques that promote healing and health of the intricate shoulder joint.

Our services include:

  • Digital X-ray imaging to aid us in the diagnostic process
  • Osteopathic manipulations, to help relieve pain and restore normal arthrokinematics (joint movement and alignment)
  • Regenerative treatments, including stem cell and platelet rich plasma injections, to improve the health and vitality of the intra-articular tissues
  • Physical therapy, to maximize the strength and range of motion of your shoulder girdle
  • Interventional pain management modalities, including Botox, acupuncture, and percutaneous electroneurostimulation), to relieve pain without the need for drugs

As mentioned, our staff will do a lot more than simply treat your symptoms. One of our primary goals with treatment is to identify what’s causing your dysfunction in the first place. Without identifying and addressing the underlying factor or factors (which often go unnoticed for a long time), how else can lasting healing and relief occur?

That’s why our team will thoroughly evaluate and review your lifestyle and other unique factors. We look at everything from your workplace set-up, typical daily tasks, posture, and other health factors (including hidden postural imbalances and areas of restricted motion). Every body (and shoulder for that matter) that we see is unique, so we operate under the premise that our plans of care should reflect this.

Is Your Shoulder Painful, Stiff, or Weak? Our Ramsey Pain Management Team Is Here For You!

Struggling with shoulder pain? We invite you to join hundreds of others from the Northern New Jersey area who have experienced true healing and optimized potential with help from our Ramsey pain management team. Whether acute or chronic, mild or severe, intermittent or constant, your shoulder dysfunction deserves resolution, and we’d be honored to be a part of that process and help you “shoulder” the burden!

To schedule an initial consultation or learn more about our comprehensive services, call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today at 201 962 9199.

Shoulder Pain Specialists Ramsey NJ

What Is Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)?

What Is Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)?

Your shoulders are among the most mobile joints in your body and require a coordinated balance of muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments, and nerves in order to be not only flexible but strong and stable, as well. Sometimes, your shoulder joints can become increasingly stiff, painful, and difficult to move, which is often the result of a condition known as adhesive capsulitis, or frozen shoulder. Dr. Kevin McElroy and Dr. Steven Ferrer of Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, along with the rest of our team, have worked with hundreds of men and women struggling with this irritating condition, and we invite you to keep reading to learn more about it.

What is Frozen Shoulder?

When a person has frozen shoulder (known clinically as adhesive capsulitis), the elastic and fibrous capsule surrounding the shoulder joint becomes stiff and immobile. Adhesions also develop, which are considered thickened bands of tissue, and often there is a decrease in lubrication (called synovial fluid) within the joint itself. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the condition progresses in three stages:

  • Freezing: typically lasting a period of 6 weeks to 9 months, a gradual decline in mobility and increase in pain becomes apparent
  • Frozen: typically lasting 4 to 6 months, pain may subside here but immobility and stiffness remain a big problem
  • Thawing: it can take 6 months to 2 years for a gradual return to normal movement and strength occurs (though treatment can help)

Causes & Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder

As with many conditions, the exact cause of frozen shoulder is not always clear nor clearly understood. Certain risk factors are possible, including a history of shoulder immobilization (such as may occur following a surgery or injury) or the presence of other medical conditions like diabetes, cardiac disease, Parkinson’s disease, and thyroid dysfunction. Interestingly, it’s not believed that arm dominance nor occupation plays a direct role.

As the name implies, stiffness and decreased range of motion are among the hallmark symptoms of frozen shoulder. Pain is often described as achy or dull, and typically felt on the outer shoulder and upper arm.

How Our Ramsey Pain Management Doctors Treat Frozen Shoulder Syndrome

At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, we can diagnose frozen shoulder through a combination of physical examination, X-ray imaging, and thorough patient history assessment. With a correct diagnosis in hand, we can then guide you through a customized treatment plan that aims to address the symptoms of your frozen shoulder as well as prevent recurrence or secondary problems (including muscle weakness, arthritis and instability). Typical approaches may include:

  • Physical therapy, with an emphasis on passive and active-assisted range of motion exercises
  • Osteopathic manipulations and joint mobilizations
  • Therapeutic and and regenerative medicine injections

Our Ramsey Pain Management Team Treats Shoulders & Other Joints, So If You or a Loved One is Struggling, Call Us Today!

Has your shoulder been bothering you? We encourage you to consult with our Ramsey pain management team, led by Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy. We use non-surgical, best-practice techniques and technology to deliver the best possible care for our patients in the northern New Jersey area. To schedule an appointment, call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today at 201 962 9199

Pain Management Office Ramsey NJ

5 Signs You May Have Arthritis

5 Signs You May Have Arthritis

Arthritis is a broad term used to describe several dozens of conditions causing joint inflammation. At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, our Ramsey pain management team works with hundreds of people every year struggling with signs and symptoms of various forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.

Wondering what some of the most common signs and symptoms are? Check out these top 5 below:

1. Painful swollen joints.

Considered a hallmark symptom, joint pain caused by arthritis is often described as dull, achy, and sometimes throbbing. Because inflammation is an essential issue in arthritis, joint pain and tenderness can also present with warmth, redness, and swelling as well.

2. Joint stiffness.

Arthritic joints often experience a significant reduction in range of motion. This may show up as an inability to perform certain functional tasks, such as buttoning shirts, scratching your back, or raising your arms above shoulder height.

3. Joint deformities.

As arthritic joints undergo chronic inflammation and damage, they may begin to develop scar tissue, bony overgrowth, and other degenerative changes. This can result in lumps, bumps, abnormal joint alignments (deviations), or even joint enlargements.

4. Crepitus in the joints.

Crepitus refers to either sounds or sensations (or both) similar to grinding, popping, creaking, cracking, or grating. This can happen when the normal smooth and aligned joint surfaces become disrupted, as in the case of arthritis.

5. Joint pain that is worse in the morning.

Compared to people with healthy joints, a person with arthritis will often require a longer time to warm up and get moving. You may notice that your symptoms, including pain and stiffness, are worse first thing in the morning or after rising from sitting for a long time.

Why See Our Ramsey Pain Management Team If You Have Arthritis

While it can’t always be cured, arthritis can be managed. If you’ve been diagnosed with a form of this condition, know it’s possible for you to live an active and healthy lifestyle! Our Ramsey pain management team, led by Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy, can offer you a variety or non-surgical services that can be completely custom tailored to meet your unique needs.

  • Diagnostic imaging can help us confirm a diagnosis in certain cases
  • Regenerative treatments include platelet rich plasma and stem cell injections can rejuvenate damaged joint surfaces
  • Physical therapy can improve the strength and range of motion of your affected joints

These and other services can help you stay on top of your pain without having to become reliant on pain medications nor overly sedentary. If anything, safe and regular exercise is one of the key components to minimizing arthritic pain. We’re happy to provide practical advice on everything from sleep management to physical activity to posture!

Are you currently living with arthritis or wondering if you’re showing early warning signs? Come for a consultation with one of our team members here at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine. From diagnostic imaging to acupuncture and more, our cutting edge services are here to help you! Contact us today by calling 201 962 9199.

neck pain specialist ramsey nj

Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment Options | Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia affects about 10 million Americans. Though it’s not fully understood by the medical community, several theories exist as to what causes it. A leading idea is an abnormal activation of the central nervous system, and the way in which it regulates pain. In this particular theory, people with fibromyalgia have heightened sensitivity and experience of pain, as if the volume’s been turned up on the pain signals.

Women are affected by fibromyalgia far more often than men (in an estimated ratio of about 4 to 1), however people of all ages, including children, can be affected by it. At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine in Ramsey, New Jersey, our pain management doctors have helped hundreds of people manage their condition more effectively.

Fibromyalgia Signs & Symptoms

People with fibromyalgia can experience a wide variety of signs and symptoms, the chief ones being widespread pain, muscle and joint tenderness, and fatigue. Specific intensity, duration, type and frequency of symptoms vary from person to person, and can wax and wane over time. Some of the most common conditions include:

  • Sleep problems
  • Memory difficulties
  • Joint stiffness
  • Sensitive skin
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Migraines and tension headaches
  • Urinary problems
  • TMJ dysfunction
  • Pelvic pain

Fibromyalgia has also been related to the presence of other conditions including gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), chronic dry eye syndrome, asthma, thyroid issues, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Stress, consumption of sugar, and other environmental factors may exacerbate symptoms.

Diagnosis typically requires certain lab work and tests to rule out the presence of other diseases.

Treatment Options with Our Ramsey Pain Management Team

At this point in time, there is no cure for fibromyalgia. However, Dr. Ferrer, Dr. McElroy, and the rest of our multidisciplinary team are happy to work with anyone suffering from this condition. We utilize a variety of evidence-based, drug-free, non-surgical treatment methods that provide effective pain relief, decreased tenderness, improved joint range of motion, and more, including:

  • Acupuncture and electroacupuncture
  • Interventional pain injections
  • Percutaneous electroneuro stimulation
  • Physical therapy
  • Osteopathic manipulations

Beyond minimizing or relieving your pain and other symptoms, our compassionate team can also help you find mental and emotional relief, as well. The stress and fatigue of fibromyalgia can truly take its toll on you, and we consider it our job to educate you on ways to take care of your mental as well as physical health. We can provide guidance on exercise, sleep, and nutritional habits that can help you live as fully as possible in light of your diagnosis.

Living with Fibromyalgia in Ramsey, New Jersey? Let Our Pain Management Team Help You

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with fibromyalgia? Learn more about the condition and get innovative and custom care with our team here at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine. Call (201) 962-9199 now to schedule an appointment in Ramsey today. Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy would be honored to meet you and help you find relief.

back pain specialist ramsey nj

Ways to Stay Healthy at the Gym

Ways to Stay Healthy at the Gym

With New Year fast approaching, we’re sure many of you are like us, reflecting on your current health and setting some new fitness goals. But if you’re planning on spending more time in the gym in 2018, our team here at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine encourages you to make injury prevention a key priority.

To that end, we’re sharing a few important tips to keep in mind which can help you get strong and stay healthy come January 1st.

5 Ways to Stay Healthy at the Gym This New Year

1. Get enough sleep.

Staying healthy on your new workout plan starts even before you step foot in the gym. Sleep and rest (including active recovery) are critical periods for muscle repair and regrowth. Truthfully, it’s during these times that you actually get stronger (the workouts themselves just being the necessary stimuli to trigger the changes). Plus, chronically sleep-deprived people tend to accumulate more body fat and are at more risk for injury.

So, sleep in a dark room, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, and be sure to schedule active recovery days where you just do some low level cardio to get the blood flowing.

2. Warm up properly.

Every workout should be preceded by a 5-10 warm up period. This gets your blood flowing, your connective tissues warm, and your central nervous system primed for exertion.

3. Do accessory work.

Strengthening your small stabilizing muscles around your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles can improve the stability and strength of these critical joints, thus helping you minimize your chances of getting hurt. Our therapists are happy to give you some helpful ideas to get you started.

4. Mobilize.

Most of us are dealing with some sort of flexibility issue somewhere. Our doctors can help you identify specific movement restrictions within your body and teach you effective ways to gain more mobility.

5. Know yourself.

Don’t let your new found commitment to health get you into trouble. Ease into things. Know the difference between the pain of hard work and the pain of injury. If you do suspect something’s wrong, come visit with one of our physical therapists or pain management doctors. We can offer you effective and non-surgical treatments that have no downtime and will prevent a small problem from turning into a big one.

Kickstart a Healthy Year with Help From Our Ramsey Pain Management Team

Do you have a nagging injury that just won’t go away? Looking for ways to maximize your physical potential, improve your training recovery, or resolve an acute or chronic injury? Talk to our multidisciplinary team here Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine. We’re an area-leader providing best-practice non-surgical orthopedic and rehabilitative care to the community of Ramsey and other Northern New Jersey areas. To schedule an appointment or find out about our comprehensive services, contact us today at (201) 962-9199…and cheers to a happy and healthy New Year!

Spinal Osteoarthritis

Living with Spinal Osteoarthritis

Living with Spinal Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is a general term for joint inflammation and damage. It actually refers to over 100 different conditions, however is typically used to describe the most common form, osteoarthritis, also known as OA.

Like other types of arthritis, OA can affect just about any joint in the body, including spinal joints, with the neck and lower back being the most frequently affected spinal regions. This is a chronic condition associated with intra-articular (inside-the-joint) tissue breakdown. Normally, our joints contain cartilage and fluid to lubricate and cushion the joint; in OA, the cartilage wears down over time, leading to a painful bone-on-bone situation and narrowed joint space. This irritation can trigger the development of bony outgrowths, known as bone spurs, which may impinge on nearby nerves. For this reason, many people with OA also experience pain, numbness, and/or weakness in one or several limbs.

What Does Spinal Osteoarthritis Feel Like?

A person with spinal osteoarthritis (OA) will typically complain of stiffness and pain in their affected joints. This pain is typically described as achy, and is often worse first thing in the morning or immediately upon standing after sitting for a while (this is a common issue for people with sedentary jobs).

Who Gets Spinal Osteoarthritis?

Anyone can get spinal OA, but it’s more likely to occur in older people, or people with a history of joint trauma.

How Can The Team At Progressive Spine & Sports Help Me Live with My Spinal Osteoarthritis?

We have “spine” in our name for a reason! The team at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, led by Ramsey pain management doctors Dr. Kevin McElroy and Dr. Steven Ferrer, have extensive training and clinical experience working with spinal conditions. We find this area of the body not only fascinating to us as healthcare practitioners, but also essential to health for virtually anyone who walks through our clinic doors.

An accurate diagnosis is key for ensuring optimally streamlined treatment. Using advanced  diagnostic imaging and other tests and measures, our team can rule out other similar conditions (such as ankylosing spondylitis or rheumatoid arthritis) and confirm both the presence and severity of OA. Based on the results of our initial evaluation, we can implement individualized treatment which focuses on addressing the essential elements of an OA condition: joint stiffness, joint swelling, pain, and reduced functional activity tolerance.

Here are a few examples of what we can do for you or your loved one living with spinal OA:

  • Osteopathic manipulations, which can improve the alignment and mobility of affected joints
  • Regenerative treatments, including stem cell and platelet rich plasma injections, which can improve the health and integrity of affected joints
  • Physical therapy, which can help strengthen the muscles and tendons surrounding and supporting affected joints

Are you looking for a second opinion about your spinal osteoarthritis? Wondering if OA is what’s causing your neck or lower back discomfort and dysfunction? Don’t guess: find out and get help. To schedule an appointment or to learn about our non-surgical orthopedic and rehabilitative services, call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today at (201) 962-9199. We are proud to be Northern New Jersey’s leaders in comprehensive pain management. We invite you to experience the difference with our Ramsey team.

Physical Therapy for Back Pain

Low Back Pain and the Dangers of Slipping on Ice

Low Back Pain and the Dangers of Slipping on Ice

It’s that time of year to be on the look out for slippery ice patches!

When you lose your balance on an icy or slippery surface, your nervous system triggers an automatic reflex response to prevent you from falling. Part of this response involves a protective tensing up of the postural muscles within your spine and trunk.

This sudden increase in muscle tension can damage spinal muscle fibers and in some cases may lead to misalignments of vertebral joints or disc injuries (herniation or bulge). In this way, you can “pull” your lower back even if you manage to keep yourself from falling.

Of course, the trauma, force, and aberrant movement associated with a true fall may be more than enough to cause an acute muscle strain, as well.

Fall or no fall, a muscle strain or spasm can be quite uncomfortable. Signs and symptoms of a lower back muscle strain include tenderness, stiffness, and pain described as either dull, achy, or occasionally sharp with certain movements. Your tolerance to movement, including shoveling and other winter-related activities, may be low and will ultimately depend on the severity of your muscle strain.

How Our Ramsey Pain Management Team Can Help Your Back Heal

Acute injuries like a fall-related lower back strain may go away on their own. Without seeking professional help, you run the risk of leaving issues unresolved, including joint misalignments and scar tissue formation.

When people come to see us for treatment of a spinal muscle strain, our team uses a variety of non-invasive procedures to help control inflammation, facilitate tissue healing, and restore normal spinal mobility. These services include:

We also can run diagnostic imaging to rule out fractures, disc injuries, and other problems.

Once the acute stage of an injury has passed, our doctors and physical therapists can help you regain necessary strength and stamina within your postural muscles and reduce your risk of recurring symptoms.

Helpful Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Slipping on Ice This Winter

When it comes to accident-related injuries, the only thing better than treatment is prevention. The following tips can help you stay safe no matter how frightful the weather is outside:

  • Always wear sturdy boots when walking outdoors.
  • Shovel your driveway, sidewalks, and outdoor access ways around your home, and be sure to use sand, salt, or other forms of de-icer.
  • Avoid walking over ice whenever possible, and always hold a railing when negotiating outdoor stairs.
  • If you can’t avoid walking on ice, take short and slow steps instead, and consider holding your arms out in a T (as if walking on a balance beam).
  • If you do fall, see if you can fall more “safely” by tucking your chin into your chest, landing on your buttocks, and keeping your arms close to your side (wrists get broken so frequently during slips and trips there’s actually an acronym for the specific mechanism of injury: FOOSH, or fall on an outstretched hand).

Are you prepared to keep your back healthy this winter season? Call our Ramsey pain management team today at (201) 962-9199 to schedule a consultation or to learn more about the services we offer.

5 Back Safety Tips During the Fall & Winter Season

5 Back Safety Tips During the Fall & Winter Season

5 Back Safety Tips During the Fall & Winter Season

The fall and winter months offer tons of leisure and recreational activities. Here are 5 ways to make sure your back stays healthy enough to enjoy them:

1. Use good body mechanics.

What do you need for a successful morning of snow shoveling? Try a good pair of gloves, proper layers, sturdy boots, and good movement mechanics!

Excessive bending, lifting, and twisting can strain your back and put you at risk for injuries like muscle strains, joint subluxations, and disc herniations. Here are a few quick pointers:

  • Warm up first, and take breaks throughout.
  • Push (with a neutral spine) rather than lift as much as possible.
  • Don’t overload your shovel, and walk to where you want to dump the snow (rather than throwing it).
  • Bend with your knees and hips, not your back.
  • Engage your abs.

2. Keep exercising!

Cold weather and less daylight makes it tempting to snuggle up on the couch. But our Ramsey team challenges you to stay active throughout the winter months.

Why? Being sedentary is one of the biggest causes of and risk factors for back pain. Appropriate exercise helps keeps postural muscles strong and enduring, blood flow circulating, and can even bolster your immune system.

Also keep in mind that if you’re participating in more intense seasonal sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and skating, be sure to warm-up well and use properly-fitting equipment.

3. Move with caution.

Black ice, wet snow, and salt and sand can make surfaces more slippery during the fall and winter months. So, use caution when walking around town.

Give yourself extra time to get to places in order to avoid the temptation of running or rushing, wear appropriate footwear, and always use handrails when going up or down stairs to help you avoid an accidental trip and fall. If you’re a runner, you may need to sub the street with the treadmill or switch to some other low impact indoor exercise like spinning, swimming, or stair climbing.

While these few tips may seem like common sense, it’s pretty amazing just how easily we can take for granted our ability to move around in our day-to-day lives! That tiny effort it takes to move with care can really make a difference in your back health.

4. Stay hydrated.

The cold dry air tends to dehydrate our bodies, and we need adequate hydration in order to keep our tissues pliable and healthy. Drink plenty of water throughout the day (at least half your body weight in fluid ounces, and more if you’re highly active).

5. See a professional if your back is bothering you.

Here in Northern New Jersey, our Ramsey orthopedic and physical therapy team at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine is ready for a fun and healthy fall and winter season. If you’ve been dealing with a nagging back injury, or have any concerns about your spinal health as we enter the fall and winter season, now is the perfect time of year to schedule an appointment with one of our Ramsey pain management doctors.

Planning on having a healthy back for the holidays? We are too! Call our Ramsey pain management team at (201) 962-9199 to schedule your initial consultation.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis | Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment Options

Rheumatoid Arthritis | Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment Options

There are hundreds of different types of arthritis, which is a broad term used to describe joint inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis, one of the most common arthritic conditions (along with osteoarthritis and gout), is a type of autoimmune disorder affecting over 1.3 million Americans and an estimated 1% of the global population according to research. Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy of Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine are leading physicians in the Northern New Jersey area offering comprehensive, customized, and compassionate care for people with RA, using a combination of orthopedic, rehabilitative, and non-surgical pain management techniques.

Causes, Signs & Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Autoimmune diseases occur when the body launches an abnormal immune system response to its own tissue. Other examples of autoimmune disorders include lupus, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and Chron’s disease.

In the case of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a person’s immune system triggers an antibody attack against its own joint tissue, specifically the synovial fluid that acts as a natural lubricant in certain joints. Hallmark symptoms of RA include chronic inflammation, swelling, stiffness, pain, and deformities of the joints within the wrist, hands, and feet. These symptoms typically affect multiple joints on both the left and right sides of the body. As the disease progresses into its later stages, additional clinical signs and symptoms may include depression, fatigue, low-grade fevers, loss of appetite, weight loss, and general malaise.

Who Gets RA?

People of all ages and ethnicities can get RA (in children, it’s known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis). However, it most commonly affects women (at a rate of 3:1 compared to men) with average age of onset between 30 and 60. It’s diagnosed via a combination of a physical examination, family and personal history assessment, blood tests, and diagnostic imaging that can identify bone density issues and the degree of joint inflammation.

Risk factors for the autoimmune disease include genetics, hormones, environment (e.g., exposure to pollution, chemicals, secondhand smoke, or joint trauma), and lifestyle (specifically, a positive smoking history, which may increase a person’s risk for RA by as much as 2.4%).

How Our Ramsey Pain Management Team Helps People Living with RA

At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, our Ramsey pain management team has worked with hundreds of men and women struggling to carry on a typical, pain-free life with RA and other autoimmune and/or chronic health conditions.

Early and routine treatment will generally make the biggest positive impact for the RA sufferer. Here are a few of the services we offer that can help:

  • Physical therapy, to maximize joint range of motion and function, muscle strength, and overall physical activity levels
  • Acupuncture, to reduce pain and promote increased circulation and healing growth factors
  • Lifestyle and nutritional advice to help promote anti-inflammation, smoking cessation, and other healthy habits

Are you or someone you know living with RA? Don’t let your pain hold you back from living the life you want full of the activities you love! Contact Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine in Ramsey, New Jersey at (201) 962-9199 to schedule your initial consultation today.

Pain Management Ramsey NJ

Spinal Stenosis | Diagnosing & Treatment Options

Spinal Stenosis | Diagnosing & Treatment Options

The word “stenosis,” derived from the Ancient Greek for “narrow,” is used to describe an abnormal reduction in the diameter of certain structures within the human body. Spinal stenosis, which most commonly occurs in people over the age of 50, can occur in the center of the spine, in the spaces where nerves exit the spine, or in the spaces between the spinal bones. Depending on the severity of this abnormal narrowing, stenosis of the spine can cause compression on nearby nerves and lead to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.

How Can I Tell if I Have Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis most commonly occurs in the lower back region, leading to symptoms including:

  • Back pain (the muscles over the affected area may protectively and reflexively spasm)
  • Back stiffness
  • Pain that radiates into one or both legs
  • Numbness, weakness, or cramping in the legs (which indicate nerve involvement; advanced cases may lead to an inability to pick up the toes, or foot drop)

Less commonly, stenosis in the spine can occur in the neck region. In this case, arm involvement instead of leg involvement is likely to occur, and neck stiffness and pain can also be present.

Who Gets Spinal Stenosis?

A variety of factors can increase a person’s risk of developing spinal stenosis, including:

  • Advancing age (e.g., 50+); older people are more likely to develop stiffer and thicker connective tissue, bony growths (called bone spurs), and smaller joint spaces, all of which can lead to spinal canal narrowing
  • Arthritis (joint inflammation)
  • History of spine injury
  • Family history
  • Related underlying health conditions, e.g., Paget’s disease (which affects bone tissue development), increased calcium deposits, excessive fluoride in the body, etc.

If any of these factors are true for you, and if you have any of the symptoms described above, it’s possible you may be dealing with spinal stenosis.

How Our Ramsey NJ Pain Management Team Helps People with Spinal Stenosis

Our Ramsey pain management team has helped hundreds of people from the Northern New Jersey area find nonsurgical solutions to their spinal stenosis symptoms.

The first step? Getting the right diagnosis! Our  diagnostic imaging, which includes digital X-rays and and nerve conduction testing, can help us pinpoint the location of your stenosis and determine the overall impact that the condition has your nerves. We’ll also rely on a comprehensive analysis of your symptoms and physical examination results to help guide our diagnostic process and plan of care of development.

One of the great things about consulting with our team here at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine is that you’ll get to work with a multidisciplinary team including doctors and physical therapists. Depending on your unique case, we can offer a variety of nonsurgical options to help manage and relieve your symptoms, including:

  • Therapeutic exercises
  • Acupuncture
  • Osteopathic manipulations and decompression
  • Analgesic and anti-inflammatory injections

In the rare instances when surgery may be indicated (for instance, if conservative measures fail to help you), then our team can also be here to help you in the pre- and post-operative windows.

Are you wondering if your symptoms are related to spinal stenosis? Our Ramsey NJ pain doctors are committed to helping you get a clear understanding of your symptoms and practical, effective, and affordable solutions. To schedule an appointment, call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today at (201) 962-9199.

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Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome Diagnosis & Treatment in Ramsey NJ

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome Diagnosis & Treatment in Ramsey NJ

Alternatively known as “runner’s knee,” “jumper’s knee,” or “patellar overload syndrome,” patellofemoral pain syndrome is a condition we see a lot of around here at our Ramsey NJ comprehensive pain management practice. While it can be painful and debilitating, this condition is treatable and typically responds well to conservative management.

What is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome? How Will I Know I Have It?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (knee and kneecap pain) is often caused by vigorous exercise, such as during sports training or physically-demanding work activities. These activities may lead to repeated stress on the knee and knee cap, resulting in pain and inflammation. Other causes and risk factors may include patella malalignment (often due to hip, knee, and/or ankle alignment problems) and abnormal tightness and/or weakness of the quadriceps and other hip and leg muscles.

Symptoms  include:

  • Anterior knee pain while squatting, climbing stairs, running, and jumping
  • Knee pain after prolonged sitting
  • Knee pain that comes on or worsens after a recent change in activity level
  • Audible popping or crackling noises in your knee joint during movement

Who Gets Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?

Women, especially younger women, are far more likely to be affected by patellofemoral pain syndrome. It’s common in athletes who participate in high impact athletic activities. However, patellofemoral pain syndrome can also happen in men as well as non-athletes.

Treatment & Prevention for Patellofemoral Knee Pain

Our patients who come to our Northern New Jersey pain clinic for help with their knee pain appreciate our approach to care. We don’t believe in simply covering up pain with medications, nor trying to “fix” symptoms without addressing the underlying causes of the problem. That’s why our plan of care for patellofemoral pain syndrome, whether for you or your loved one, will be thorough and comprehensive.

First, we’ll need to confirm a diagnosis and rule out other potential problems including quadriceps and patellar tendonitis, Osgood-Schlatter disease, or a degenerative condition known as chondromalacia patella. We rely on our physical examination techniques, diagnostic testing, and patient history taking to help us pinpoint the exact cause of your dysfunction.

Next, our multidisciplinary team will implement a customized treatment plan—all available right here under one roof! Some of the most effective treatments we can use include:

  • Physical therapy, with emphasis on stretching and strengthening your quadriceps and other key leg, hip, and trunk muscles
  • Acupuncture and percutaneous electroneuro stimulation for drug-free pain relief
  • Osteopathic manipulations and other non-surgical orthopedics, to relieve pain and improve joint range of motion and alignment

Lastly, we’ll educate you on ways to prevent your knee pain from coming back. This may include extending and customizing your pre-activity warm up, maintaining a home exercise program, wearing appropriately supportive shoes, and maintaining a healthy body weight.

Is your knee pain keeping you back from the sports and activities you love? Call our advanced orthopedic and rehabilitation team today, led by Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy. We’re proud to be among Northern New Jersey’s leaders in innovative, non-surgical, and comprehensive pain management, and we’re confident that we can help you and your loved ones, as well. To schedule your initial consultation or to learn more about the services we offer at our state-of-the-art facility, call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine now at (201) 962-9199.

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Common Falls Sport Injuries Seen in Student Athletes

Fall season is in full swing, which means fall sports season is in full swing, too! If you have student athletes in your house, then you should be aware of the following common injuries that tend to occur this time of year.

Common Falls Sport Injuries Seen in Student Athletes

 

Whether your child plays field hockey, soccer, football, cross-country, or another fall season sport, he or she may be at risk for any of the following conditions:

Whiplash

Commonly seen in football and other full contact sports, whiplash is pain, strain, and tissue damage in the neck caused by a sudden and violent forward/backward movement of the head. Common symptoms include headaches, dizziness, neck and shoulder pain, and neck stiffness.

Concussions and post-concussive syndrome are related issues seen particularly by football players. These are actually mild forms of a brain injury, and can present with some whiplash-like symptoms, like dizziness and headaches, as well as other symptoms including mental fogginess, irritability, and insomnia.

ACL Sprain or Tear

Consistently reported as one of the most common injuries among fall athletes, an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear or sprain is damage to an important stabilizing ligament within the knee. It often happens due to sudden pivoting, turning, and/or jumping. Symptoms include knee pain, swelling, decreased range of motion, and difficulty walking. A person with an ACL sprain or tear may even hear an audible “pop” in their knee during the acute injury. This can often occur with damage to the meniscus (which serve as supportive discs inside the knee joint).

In addition to ACL tears, ligamentous injuries at the ankle are also frequently reported during the fall season.

Shin Splints

Cross-country runners are particularly at risk for this type of injury. Shin splints cause pain and tenderness on the front of the lower leg due to micro-damage of the muscles, tendons, and other connective tissues in that area. It’s often caused by overuse, or a sudden increase in physical activity.

How Our Orthopedic and Non-Surgical Pain Team Can Help Treat & Prevent Fall Sports-Related Injuries

 

In addition to getting quality sleep, recovery, hydration, and nutrition, your child can also minimize his or her risk by seeking preventive care through pre-season sports physicals and skills-specific training.

Sometimes, however, no amount of preparation can prevent an injury. At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, we offer some of Northern New Jersey’s leading diagnostic and treatment services for acute orthopedic injuries using non-surgical and highly effective approaches. We’ve helped hundreds of student athletes recover quickly and completely from their injuries so they can get back to their sport at their fullest potential.

Specific techniques we use to help athletes heal include:

  • Regenerative medicine
  • Neurological and sports rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy
  • Diagnostic imaging

Planning on a Healthy Fall Sports Season? Let Our Ramsey Pain Management Doctors Help

Do you have a student athlete at home who’s struggling with an acute injury? Or, are you simply looking for someone who can help your young athlete avoid a sidelining injury altogether? Our  Ramsey pain management doctors, Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy, love working with athletes of all ages and abilities. To schedule an initial consultation today, call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today at 201-962-9199.

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Why #ChoosePT for Pain Management

Why #ChoosePT for Pain Management

 

If you’re ever in pain, what do you do?

Do you take a few pills, ignore the issue, or consult with a physical therapist? At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine in Ramsey, New Jersey, we strongly encourage you to choose the latter! Our experienced and highly trained physical therapy team offers plenty of non-invasive and drug-free pain solutions that can help you get back to your activities of daily life as soon as possible with greater ease and comfort.

Why Should I #ChoosePT If I’m In Pain?

 

To combat the harrowing epidemic of opioid drug abuse in the United States, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has recently launched a national campaign called #ChoosePT. This campaign aims to raise awareness about physical therapy as an effective pain management solution instead of or in addition to pain medication. Our Ramsey pain management team, led by Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy, strongly support this campaign. We’ve seen firsthand just how beneficial physical therapy can be for people suffering from a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, and more.

To be clear, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does rightly note that opioids and other medications are indicated in some cases. In particularly, people living with cancer, terminal illnesses, and certain acute conditions may benefit from properly prescribed pain-relieving drugs. However, the potential benefits should always be carefully weighed against the potential risks, and the decision to use medications should never be taken lightly. To this end, consulting with a physical therapist can be a much safer and preferred method of pain management.

Here are a few situations when both the APTA and CDC recommend utilizing physical therapy prior to, instead of, or concurrently with prescription medication:

  • You have chronic pain, or pain lasting 3 months or longer
  • You have a personal or family history of addiction
  • You want the underlying cause of your pain to be addressed, and not to have your pain simply masked
  • You want to learn ways to prevent your pain from coming back

Physical therapy is safe for people of all ages, is backed by evidence-based research and data, and is completely customizable to meet the unique needs of each individual patient.

How Can a Physical Therapist Help Me?

 

There are several scientifically-supported ways that a physical therapist can help you find relief from your pain, including:

  • Manual therapy, which includes joint mobilizations, soft tissue mobilizations, and massage
  • Therapeutic exercises and stretches
  • Body mechanics, ergonomics re-training, and relaxation and breathing techniques
  • Modalities, including electrical stimulation, dry needling, ultrasound, and kinesiotaping

Together, these services decreased pain, accelerated tissue healing, increased circulation, decreased swelling and inflammation, restored function, increased movement efficiency and safety, and increased strength, endurance, and flexibility of the involved connective tissues.

Are you or a family member in need of effective pain relief, but you don’t want to become reliant on medications? Do you want to get to the bottom of your symptoms, and not simply cover the symptoms up? Call (201) 962-9199 today to schedule an appointment with a Ramsey physical therapist here at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine. When you call, be sure to ask about our other services, too. We are confident that our staff can be of service to your whole family—call today!

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Morton’s Neuroma | Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment Options

Morton’s Neuroma

 

If you’ve never heard of Morton’s neuroma, you’re not alone. At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine in Ramsey, NJ, our interdisciplinary pain management team has helped hundreds of people get back on their feet after struggling with pain and dysfunction caused by this relatively unheard of condition.

What is Morton’s Neuroma?

 

Also known as intermetatarsal neuroma, Morton’s neuroma is the name for a condition in which the nerve tissue located between the third and fourth toes becomes abnormally thick. A neuroma can actually happen anywhere in the body; the Morton’s variety is specific to this location in the ball of the foot.

What Causes This Condition?

 

The thickening and enlarging of nerve tissue which occurs with a neuroma happens in response to increased compression and irritation of the nerve tissue itself. Some of the most common precipitating causes include excessive use of high heeled shoes or any other type of uncomfortable, tight, tapered-toe footwear; foot abnormalities including hammertoes, flat feet, or bunions; and a history of direct foot injury or repetitive injury (often seen with sports such as running).

What are the Signs & Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma?

 

If you or a loved one has Morton’s neuroma, then you may notice any of the following issues:

  • Pain, burning, numbness, and/or tingling in the ball of the foot
  • The sensation that something is in the ball of your foot
  • The sensation that something is stuck or bunched up in your shoe or sock

Typically, symptoms start slowly. They may only come on if you’re wearing high heels, for instance, or if you’re running. Removing the shoes, stopping the activity, and/or massaging your foot can temporarily relieve the discomfort. However, over time as the compression and inflammation to the nerve tissue between your third and fourth toe continue, the symptoms will typically become worse and/or longer-lasting.

What Treatment Options Exist for Morton’s Neuroma?

 

If you are dealing with recurring foot pain, it’s important to be checked out by a doctor. In the case of Morton’s neuroma, the damage to the nerve tissue can become permanent if the cause of the inflammation and the symptoms are not properly addressed.

At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, we’re proud to be among Northern New Jersey’s leading facilities for treating and resolving Morton’s neuroma. Some of our treatment techniques include:

  • Physical therapy, which may include orthotics prescription, therapeutic exercises to strengthen your intrinsic and extrinsic foot muscles, and sports-specific movement training
  • Interventional pain injections that relieve symptoms and help reduce inflammation and swelling
  • Sports medicine rehabilitation, including ultrasound and stem cell injections

Our team will thoroughly examine your foot, get a clear picture of your medical history, and run any necessary diagnostic tests or imaging techniques to help us make an accurate diagnosis and get you on an effective treatment plan as soon as possible.

Do you believe your foot pain is related to Morton’s neuroma? Are you looking for effective, non-surgical, and affordable treatment options that can get you the pain relief you’ve been looking for? Call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today to schedule a consultation with one of our pain management doctors, Dr. Steven Ferrer or Dr. Kevin McElroy.

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Back to School Back Health Safety Tips for Kids

Back to School Back Health Safety Tips for Kids

 

Another school year is upon us here in Northern New Jersey, and if your family is anything like all of ours, then we know your kids don’t have the time to struggle with pain and stiffness related to a back injury. That’s why our team here at Progressive Spine & Sports Rehabilitation, led by Ramsey pain doctors Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy, wants to stress the importance of back safety for your school-aged children.

Help Your Child Go “Back” to School With These 5 Tips for Better Spine Health

 

Backpacks that are too heavy, improperly loaded, or improperly carried can frequently lead to both short-term and long-term complications for young kids, adolescents, and teens. In fact, it’s been estimated that as many as 14,000 children are treated every year in the United States due to pain and injury related to backpack use.

So, to help your child avoid muscle strains, joint irritation, and other injuries that may limit their ability to participate in academics and athletics, be sure to go over the following back safety tips together:

1. Buy your child a backpack that has wide padded straps.

Wider and softer straps put less strain on a child’s shoulders, since they are designed to help distribute weight more evenly.

2. Encourage your kid to use both straps.

Is it still considered “cool” to sling one strap over your shoulder? We’re not really sure, but we recommend that your kid uses both, as this can prevent asymmetrical strain on the spine. Be sure to adjust the straps snugly so the bag doesn’t hang more than 4 inches below the waist.

We also don’t recommend roller bags, as this can also lead to unnecessary strain on your child’s back and shoulders.

3. Teach your kid how to load a backpack correctly.

Heavier items should go on the bottom so they are closer to your child’s center of gravity (this minimizes the relative load on the spine). A child should also use individualized compartments for quick and easy access to smaller items.

4. Keep the bags light.

According to organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Occupational Therapy Association, a child’s backpack should never exceed 10-15% of his or her bodyweight. So, as an example, an 85 pound child should not be expected to carry a bag weighing more than 12.75 pounds.

If necessary, talk to your child’s teachers about being able to leave heavy books at school or at home, or photocopying the necessary pages, instead of having to tote text books back and forth every day.

5. Get your kids involved in sports they love.

Sitting all day during class can be as problematic for a child’s back health as lugging around a super heavy backpack. So, encourage your child to participate in a sport they’re interested in.

Is your child complaining of a sore back? In addition to consulting with your pediatrician, consider scheduling an appointment with our team here at Progressive Spine & Sports Rehabilitation in Ramsey, NJ. We are proud to be Northern New Jersey’s premier facility for nonsurgical orthopedic and therapy services that are good for the whole family. Call (201) 962-9199 to schedule a consultation today!

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Everything You Need to Know about Hip Flexor Strains

Hip Flexor Strain

 

Hip flexor strains are a common injury among athletes. At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, our Northern New Jersey pain management team, led by Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy, offers a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic tools to help people suffering from this muscle injury recover as quickly and as completely as possible.

 

What are your hip flexors, and how might you injure them?

 

Your hip flexors are a group of muscle that, as the name implies, flexes the hip (brings the thigh closer to the trunk). They include the iliacus muscle and psoas muscle (often known collectively as the iliopsoas), the rectus femoris (a part of your quads), the sartorius muscle (the longest muscle in your body!) and a few other muscles located near your upper leg. These muscles have attachments on your lower spine, your pelvis, and your femur.

An injury to the hip flexor may occur due to poor technique in sport or an acute event such as a slip, trip, or fall. A common method of injury may also be forcefully kicking (such as kicking a ball), overextending the leg, or pivoting.

A person may be more at risk for injuring their hip flexor if he or she has tightness in these muscles, which is common among our industrialized, chair-sitting society.

Muscle strains, including those of the hip flexors, can range in severity, from small microscopic tears and inflammation in the muscle fibers to significant tears.

How can I tell if I have a hip flexor strain?

 

The exact nature and location of your pain will depend on which hip flexor muscle and which part of the muscle was injured. However, some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Sudden pain at the front of the hip
  • Pain that worsens when the thigh is raised against resistance
  • Pain that worsens when the hip flexors are stretched
  • Tenderness, bruising, and/or swelling at the front of the hip

A person with a hip flexor injury may also have back pain and difficulty walking.

What treatment is available for my hip flexor strain injury?

 

People who see us for help with a hip flexor injury will be thoroughly evaluated by our team. We’ll look for underlying factors that may have contributed to your injury, including your posture, your body mechanics, and your foot alignment/footwear.

Based on our findings, we’ll devise a customized treatment plan to facilitate your healing. Techniques may include:

Additionally, we may recommend that you rest and ice your leg within the first few days to control inflammation and assist with healing.

Are you experiencing hip pain? Call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today to schedule an appointment at our state-of-the-art facility. We offer a complete range of non-surgical orthopedic and therapeutic services to help you recover from a hip flexor strain or other injury. To schedule an appointment, call (201) 962-9199 today.

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Diagnosing & Treating ACL & MCL Tears

ACL & MCL Tears

 

You may have heard of ACL & MCL tears being a “career-ruining injury” back in the day for football players, soccer players, basketball players, and other athletes. Fortunately, recent advances in both diagnostic and therapeutic techniques have allowed many people suffering from ACL & MCL tears to enjoy full or near-full recoveries and a return to the sport they love.

At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, our Northern New Jersey pain management team works with hundreds people every year suffering from ACL and MCL tears. Lead by Ramsey pain doctors Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy, we’ve helped everyone from young student athletes to older adults find customized and comprehensive care for their knee ligament damage.

 

The Function of Your ACL and MCL

 

Your knee is a mobile, yet very stable, hinge joint. It gleans its stability largely from two major ligaments, your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and MCL (medial collateral ligament). These ligaments connect your femur to your tibia, which form the upper and lower articular surfaces of your knee.

While they are 2 distinct ligaments, the ACL and MCL are close enough together and serve a similar function that they will often both become injured at the same time.

 

How ACL and MCL Injuries Occur

 

The mechanism of injury of an ACL or MCL tear is often some sort of sudden stop or change in direction. As you can imagine, this often happens during sports like basketball, soccer, or gymnastics, when a person jumps or pivots. Ligament damage can also occur if the knee is directly hit or if it is exposed to repetitive stress.

The severity of ligament damage depends on the injury itself as well as other factors like general ligament laxity, age, weight, and overall health. Minor ligamentous injuries are considered “sprains,” whereas severe injuries can lead to a full on tear in the ligament fibers.

Of course, you don’t have to be an athlete to suffer from an ACL/MCL tear. Any sort of trip or fall may lead to stress and strain on the knee and lead to ligament damage. Symptoms include:

  • Mild, moderate, or severe knee pain, especially along in the inside of the knee
  • Swelling and tenderness around the knee
  • The sensation of instability, as if the knee will lock, catch, or give way

 

Diagnosing & Treating ACL & MCL Tears at Progressive Spine & Sports

 

Our team at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine can diagnose an ACL/MCL tear through a variety of techniques, including physical exam, symptom assessment, and musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging. Depending on the degree of your injury, we’ll implement an individualized treatment plan which may include:

  • Regenerative treatments, including platelet rich plasma injections and stem cell injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Interventional pain injections

Together, these services can heal your injured ligaments, reduce your pain, reduce excessive scarring, and increase stability and strength of your knee.

 

Is Your Knee Injury Keeping You From the Active Lifestyle You Love? Our Ramsey Pain Doctors Can Help

 

If you live near Ramsey, NJ and are looking for someone to help you or a loved one recover from an ACL & MCL tear, then call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine. To schedule an appointment or speak with one of our Ramsey pain doctors, call us today at (201) 962-9199.

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Ulnar Nerve Compression | Symptoms & Treatment Options

Ulnar Nerve Compression

At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, serving Ramsey and other Northern New Jersey communities, we’ve helped hundreds of patients recover from a wide variety of upper extremity health problems, including a lesser-known condition called ulnar nerve compression (or entrapment).

 

Origin, Anatomy & Function of the Ulnar Nerve

 

Have you ever hit your “funny bone”? If so, then you already know how to locate your ulnar nerve—that is, at least one part of it.

Your ulnar nerve begins from the C8-T1 nerve roots in your lower neck. These nerve roots join together and then pass through your shoulder as part of the brachial plexus (a large highway of nerves).

The ulnar nerve then travels behind your elbow and branches off to provide motor and sensory function of the lower arm and part of the hand.

Symptoms of Ulnar Nerve Compression

 

Your ulnar nerve can become compressed anywhere along its path from the spine to the arm by virtually any misplaced or injured structure, including spinal disc, bone, ligament, tendon, or muscle (when entrapment occurs at the elbow, this is known specifically as cubital tunnel syndrome).

Symptoms of ulnar nerve compression include:

  • Pain and tenderness on the inside of the elbow
  • Pain that worsens after prolonged bending of the elbow
  • Pain, numbness, and tingling in the inside of the forearm, pinkie finger, and adjacent half of the ring finger
  • Intermittent pain or numbness and tingling brought on by sustained bending of the elbow over a long period of time

If compression of the ulnar nerve becomes more chronic, additional symptoms may develop including weakening and muscle wasting in the hand, difficulty holding or grasping objects, and an inward bend to the fingers (a deformity known as the “ulnar claw”).

How Ulnar Nerve Compression Occurs—and How Our Ramsey Pain Doctors Can Help

 

Our approach to healing an ulnar nerve compression begins with identifying where the compression is occurring and what’s causing it. In addition to a thorough physical examination and patient history evaluation, we use diagnostic tools such as electromyography, nerve conduction tests, ultrasound, and even digital X-ray imaging to help us pinpoint both the source and cause of your nerve compression. This highly accurate information helps us guide our treatment and allows us to educate you about what’s causing your symptoms.

Once the location and cause of your ulnar nerve compression has been identified, we’ll utilize a variety of treatment options that are fully customized to meet your needs. Our ultimate goal is to relieve pressure on the nerve, initiate tissue healing, and prevent the compression from happening again in the future.

For instance:

  • If your nerve compression is caused by a tight muscle, we may use Botox injections to help relax the muscle and relieve pressure in that area
  • Osteopathic manipulations can help realign the spinal bones if a disruption in normal alignment is impinging on the ulnar nerve roots
  • Physical therapy offers everything from manual therapy (like soft tissue massage and nerve flossing) to therapeutic exercises that can improve the strength and endurance of affected musculature in the arm and trunk

These, and other services, have helped our patients tremendously–and we’re confident that they can help you, too!

Have you been diagnosed with ulnar nerve compression? Let our team at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine guide your healing, starting today! Call (201) 962-9199 now to schedule an appointment with our Ramsey pain doctors, Dr. Ferrer and Dr. McElroy.