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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 Bergen County

Risk Factors for Disc Disease

Risk Factors for Disc Disease

Our spinal discs (made up of a combination of cartilage, collagen, and an inner gel-like core), are sandwiched in between the bones within our spine. Contrary to popular belief, they’re not just there for shock absorption, although that is a significant role they play. Discs are also crucial for allowing safe and efficient movement of the spine, as without them our spinal joint spaces would be much smaller and less mobile. Our spinal discs also protect and provide room for nerves to travel within and exit the spinal column itself.

While normal “wear and tear” on spinal discs (like any musculoskeletal structure) can occur with age, not everybody is consigned to damage and breakdown of the discs significant enough for dysfunction, pain, and other symptoms to develop. When this happens, a person can be said to have a condition known as “degenerative disc disease.”  More of an injury and degradation process rather than a disease process, disc disease can cause a disc to become poorly oxygenated and perfused with blood (and it already has a limited blood supply as it is), abnormally shaped or positioned, less pliable, and/or generally worn down or torn. Concurrently, nearby joint spaces can decrease and bony spurs can develop, compounding the problem.

Symptoms of disc disease will vary depending on the location of the injured disc relative to other anatomical structures, as well as the severity of the damage that has occurred. Most of our patients who come to see us for degenerative disc disease issue complain of symptoms including pain that worsens with “BLTs” (bending, lifting, or twisting, or sitting); pain that decreases when walking or changing positions; pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms or legs; stiffness, pain, and muscle tenderness in the neck, upper back, or lower back.

Common Risk Factors for Degenerative Disc Disease

Anyone can get disc disease, but there are a few factors which may place you at a greater risk:

  • A history of back injury
  • Smoking and tobacco use
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Advancing age (although being in your 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s and highly active is also a known risk factor)
  • The presence of other conditions including arthritis and osteoporosis
  • Physically demanding jobs and/or participation in physically demanding activities (such as contact sports)
  • A history of poor posture and/or body mechanics

Struggling with Disc Disease? Our Multidisciplinary Ramsey Pain Management Team Can Help

Disc disease can’t always be cured or prevented, but it can be well-managed, and you don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for effective care. At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, we consider it our mission to provide Northern New Jersey with the best of what modern day, non-surgical, medication-free pain relief has to offer. That’s why our Ramsey pain management team, led by Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy, are proud to offer a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic tools that have shown to be effective for reducing pain and other symptoms related to disc disease, including:

Do you believe you have a disc problem? Would you like to learn more about your relative risk factors and what you can do to protect the health of your spine?  Contact Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today to schedule an initial appointment with us. We’ll be honored to become a part of your healing journey, and we think you’ll be happy, too. To experience the difference with our Ramsey pain management team, call us now 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

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.

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Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

The shoulder is a highly mobile joint which requires the intricate coordination of many joints, bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments in order to work properly, but accidents, poor posture, repetitive trauma, and overuse can easily disrupt it.

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

Here at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, our pain management team, led by Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy, works with people of all ages struggling with shoulder dysfunction. The following are a few of the most common shoulder conditions we see at our clinic:

Arthritis

Joint inflammation and degradation. The most common type, osteoarthritis, is often a result of normal “wear and tear” on a joint, especially if the person has a history of shoulder trauma. Other symptoms including stiffness, joint crepitus, and muscle weakness.

Adhesive Capsulitis

Also known as “frozen shoulder,” this condition occurs when damage and scar tissue cause the capsule of your shoulder to become thick and stiff. Range of motion is severely limited, and pain is also present.

Bursitis

You have small fluid-filled sacs all around your body which lie between tendons and bones; they function as “friction-reducers” and help protect and cushion your joints. Sometimes (and often as a result of minor trauma or repetitive motion) these sacs can become irritated and inflamed, which causes pain and impaired movement.

Impingement

Normally when you raise your arm, there is plenty of room for the muscles and tendons to move through and around the bones within your shoulder. With impingement, the bones rub against these structures, leading to pain and abnormal movement. Over time, impingement of the rotator cuff can lead to bursitis, tendonitis, or even arthritis.

Muscle Strain & Tendonitis

Commonly seen in athletes and physical laborers, the muscle fibers within your rotator cuff muscles can easily become torn or damaged, leading to pain, swelling, weakness, and impaired motion. Chronic inflammation within your biceps tendon can also lead to pain, weakness, and dysfunction.

Our Ramsey Pain Management Team Diagnoses & Treats Shoulder Dysfunction—Here’s How

When you come to see us for help with your shoulder pain, our team will take you through a thorough physical examination using the most advanced technology and evidenced-based tests and procedures. Based on the results of our examination, we’ll be able to diagnose your condition and help you understand what’s causing your pain.

Our treatment plans for shoulder pain are highly customized, and may include:

  • Physical therapy, to improve the strength and mobility of your affected shoulder
  • Osteopathic manipulations, to restore normal joint movement
  • Acupuncture, to trigger tissue healing and relieve pain
  • Interventional pain injections and Botox injections, to reduce pain and swelling and increase your tolerance to therapy and joint manipulations, allowing you to get the maximum benefit out of our other services
  • Stem cell and platelet rich plasma injections to help restore the surface and integrity of your glenohumeral (shoulder) joint surface

Are You Tired of Dealing With A Painful Shoulder?

Don’t let a nagging injury turn into a long-term issue! Call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today at (201) 962-9199 to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors or therapists, or to learn more about our non-surgical orthopedic and rehabilitation services. We look forward to helping you!

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.

Physical Therapy in Ramsey NJ

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.

Hip Pain Specialists Ramsey NJ

Pelvic Floor Pain & Dysfunction in Pregnant & Post-Partum Women

Pelvic Floor Pain; Dysfunction in Pregnant & Post-Partum Women

Change is a given when it comes to a woman’s body preparing for or recovering from a pregnancy. But sometimes, these physical changes, as well as the stress of delivery (either vaginal or via C-section) can lead to pain and dysfunction in the spine, pelvis, and hips. At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, our team offers a comprehensive list of services that are safe and effective for women at every stage of their motherhood, from expecting to post-partum.

Types of Pelvic Pain & Dysfunction in Women

Pregnant or post-partum women often experience a variety of pelvic floor symptoms including:

  • urinary incontinence, incomplete emptying of the bladder, and dysuria (pain with urination)
  • pain (often described as pressure or heaviness) in the vagina, rectum, or lower stomach
  • pain while attempting to defecate (and often resultant constipation)
  • dyspareunia (pain during sex)
  • muscle spasms in the pelvis, hip, and legs

These changes often happen due to the physical strain induced by childbirth. During pregnancy, however, a woman’s body goes through hormonal and structural changes that allow her joints, ligaments, and tendons to be more lax and mobile in order to accommodate a growing fetus. This can lead to specific conditions including pubic symphysis dysfunction, diastasis recti (abdominal muscle separation), and pelvic organ prolapse (in which organs such as the bladder and uterus droop down onto the vagina due to weakened pelvic floor muscles).

Aside from being frustrating and embarrassing for the woman, these pelvic dysfunctions can potentially impact the alignment of the fetus. Proper care of the pregnant mother is critical to prevent breech deliveries.

How Our Ramsey Pain Management Team Can Help Manage Your Pelvic Pain

A pregnant woman in need of physical rehabilitation and pain relief naturally will take into consideration the health and well-being of her growing child, as well. At our Ramsey pain management clinic, we’re proud to offer a wide range of services that can help mom while also being completely safe for baby:

  • Physical therapy, which includes guided therapeutic exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles, trunk muscles, and hip muscles, especially after birth
  • Acupuncture, which can “reset” pain signals and trigger a variety of biological healing responses within the body
  • Botox for pain in post-partum women, which can reduce pain, urinary incontinence, and other symptoms associated with pelvic floor dysfunction

Pregnant or a New Mom? Let Our Ramsey Team Help You & Your Baby’s Health

Are you an expectant mother struggling with pain and dysfunction in your spine, pelvis, and hips? Did you recently welcome a child into the world and are now experiencing post-partum pain? If so, we invite you to call our Ramsey pain management team here at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine. We’re offering Northern New Jersey the best of what non-surgical, orthopedic, and drug-free care has to offer expecting or new mothers. Call (201) 962-9199 today to schedule your initial appointment with Dr. Steven Ferrer, Dr. Kevin McElroy, or one of our experienced physical therapists.

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.

knee pain specialist ramsey nj

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.

Pain Management Doctors Ramsey

Usage & Benefits of TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)

Usage & Benefits of TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation )

Do you have acute or chronic pain in a joint or muscle? If so, you may benefit from a drug-free and non-invasive pain relieving technique called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, otherwise known as TENS.

How TENS Works

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can help relieve symptoms of pain from a variety of conditions including back pain, joint pain, and post-operative pain.

Here’s how it works:

Small self-adhesive electrodes are attached over the painful area. These electrodes are connected via wires to the small portable TENS device. The device can be turned on and adjusted via a dial until a comfortable amount of electricity is being transmitted (we tell our patients that it should feel like a relatively comfortable tingling feeling, and not painful). This electricity will stimulate the sensory nerves in the affected area and effectively block pain signals that these nerve fibers have been sending to the brain. TENS has also been shown to stimulate the release of certain hormones that act as a natural analgesic.

At our facility, we have 4-lead TENS units. This allows us to use TENS on larger treatment areas for our patients who are looking for a safe and non-invasive pain relief method, one that comes with a very low risk of side effects and a high amount of scientifically-backed success.

Is TENS Right for Me?

TENS is safe for use on children, adults, and seniors. However, TENS should either not be used or used with caution in the following conditions:

  • People with pacemakers
  • People who are pregnant (over the trunk, abdomen, or pelvis)
  • People with allergic reactions to the electrodes and/or gel/tape used during treatment

Likewise, electrodes should not be placed over the anterior part of the neck (near the carotid sinus), nor should they be placed over areas with active skin issues including dermatitis, eczema, and cancerous lesions.

If you are not clear about TENS or have questions or concerns, our staff will take the time to carefully go over this service with you.

In addition to TENS, our staff also offers a similar treatment known as PENS, or percutaneous electroneurostimulation. This is similar to our 4-lead TENS, however instead of electrodes placed topically on the skin, small needles are actually inserted in or around the target area. Because the stimulation of the nerves occurs in a more direct way, PENS is often more effective for pain-relief, especially for people who don’t seem to respond as well to TENS.

No matter which pain management solution you need, our team will help you find the best fit for you.

Wondering if TENS can Help You Find Pain Relief? Ask Our Ramsey Pain Doctors

At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, our team is proud to be among Northern New Jersey’s leaders in non-surgical and orthopedic pain management strategies. If you’d like to learn more about the treatments we offer, including TENS and PENS, then call our clinic today to schedule an appointment with one of our Ramsey pain doctors or physical therapists. To make your appointment, call (201) 962-9199 now.

Electromyography in NJ

What Is Electromyography & Nerve Conduction Testing?

What Is Electromyography & Nerve Conduction Testing?

 

At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine in Ramsey, NJ, we offer some of the leading non-surgical and orthopedic services in our area for people living with acute and chronic pain conditions. Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy are proud to offer electromyography and nerve conduction testing among many of our advanced diagnostic and therapeutic techniques, and we invite you to read on to learn how such testing works.

About Electromyography & Nerve Conduction Testing With Our Ramsey Pain Doctors

 

When you have suffered from an acute or chronic pain condition, the true extent of the injury may not initially be clear. Even if symptoms are mild, there may be a lot of underlying tissue damage and inflammation going on that could worsen or progress into a bigger problem if not properly addressed. To this end, electromyography and nerve conduction studies can be extremely valuable. Our Ramsey pain doctors utilize EMG and NCS to help identify if and where abnormal activity is present in affected muscles and nerve tissue, as well as how severe and persistent the problem is. EMG and NCS can also be used to track progress over time and how well a person is responding to treatment.

Here’s how it works:

First, a nerve conduction test (or “study”) is performed. To do this, electrical signals are sent from a device to the targeted nerves within the body. These signals can measure how well the nerves are functioning by stimulating them. Then, the EMG portion of the study is performed: this involves a small wire that can effectively measure the amount of activity going on in a muscle either at rest and/or during movement.

What Electromyography & Nerve Conduction Velocity Testing Can Tell Us

 

Both EMG and NCS tell us important information about a person’s involved areas of the musculoskeletal and central nervous systems. They can tell us how fast and how well nerves are transmitting information, and can provide objective data as to the extent of neuromuscular involvement from affected muscle fibers themselves. This can help us get an understanding of the severity, duration, and progression of conditions such as:

  • Nerve impingement (aka radiculopathy)
  • Sciatica
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Neuropathy

Based on the information gleaned from these muscle and nerve studies (conveniently performed in-house at our Ramsey office), our interdisciplinary pain management team can devise customized treatment plans to meet the specific needs of individual patients. Services we may use to restore normal muscle and nerve function may include physical therapy, osteopathic manipulation techniques, and regenerative treatments including stem cell injections and platelet rich plasma injections.

Are you looking for answers about your pain and dysfunction? We offer electromyography and nerve conduction testing along with several other advanced and innovative diagnostic tools at our Northern New Jersey clinic. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about the conditions we treat and services we offer, then call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today at (201) 962-9199.

physical therapy office ramsey nj

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!

Ramsey Physical Therapy

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!

Physical Therapy Office Ramsey NJ

What to Expect From Your First PT Visit

What to Expect From Your First PT Visit

 

Physical therapy (PT) is a diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative branch of healthcare that uses a variety of non-invasive and drug-free techniques and tools to facilitate healing primarily within the musculoskeletal and neurological systems.

Physical therapists are licensed and board-certified clinicians who have extensive education and training. Most physical therapists are now achieving doctorate-level degrees prior to clinical practice (Doctor of Physical Therapy), and many go on to specialize in the study and treatment of specific diseases or patient populations.

Physical therapists use both manual techniques (such as joint mobilizations and manipulations, soft tissue massage, and active release technique) as well as physical modalities (like heat, cold laser therapy, electrical stimulation, kinesio tape, and ultrasound) to facilitate healing, whether a person is in an acute, subacute, or chronic stage of injury. Physical therapy also relies heavily on the active participation of the patient through the use of therapeutic exercises and stretches in order to improve function, relieve symptoms, and prevent recurring injuries.

So, what does this all mean for you? At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, serving Ramsey NJ and surrounding communities in and around Bergen County, our physical therapy team is confident that we can help you feel better, move better, and maximize your health and well-being! If you’ve been thinking about scheduling an appointment with a physical therapist in Ramsey, we invite you to keep reading to find out what to expect during your first visit and what you should do to prepare for your appointment.

 

What to Expect at Your First PT Visit

 

The initial PT exam is an important time for you and your physical therapist. Here are a few specific things to expect during your first visit:

  • We’ll ask you a variety of questions to get a full picture of your past and current health history, including what your symptoms are and what makes your symptoms better or worse.
  • We’ll analyze your overall posture and movement to screen for any contributing factors and guide our exam.
  • We’ll perform a variety of specific tests and measures to help diagnose and/or confirm what’s causing your symptoms. Tests and measures may include vital signs, muscle strength, joint mobility, reflexes, sensation, and special tests designed to rule in or out specific injuries.
  • Based on the results of our findings, we’ll devise an appropriate course of treatment that will be a best fit for your individual needs. We may also give you some “homework” to do (e.g., stretches or exercises to perform, activities to avoid, etc.) and schedule your next appointment.

 

How to Prepare for Your Next Physical Therapy Appointment in Ramsey, NJ

 

Once you’ve booked a PT appointment at our Ramsey, NJ pain management clinic, the first thing you should do is consider downloading and filling out a new patient form. This will help speed up the intake process and provide our physical therapists with valuable information about your current health.

We recommend that you aim to arrive at least 15-20 minutes early to your appointment. This way, you don’t have to rush and you’ll have time to fill out any additional paperwork, stop by the bathroom, or simply relax before the initial examination begins.

Lastly, we also recommend that you wear loose and comfortable clothing as well as supportive shoes.

 

Looking for PT in Northern New Jersey? Book an Appointment at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine Today

 

Wondering if physical therapy can help you recover from an acute or chronic injury? Contact the team at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today. We’d be honored to set you up for an appointment with one of our experienced physical therapists. If you have other questions about your condition, you can also schedule a consult with one of our pain management doctors, Dr. Steven Ferrer or Dr. Kevin McElroy. We pledge not to let your questions and concerns go unanswered!

 

To schedule an appointment in Ramsey today, call (201) 962-9199 now.

knee pain doctors new jersey

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome | Causes & Treatments

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

 

Are you a runner? Does your sport involve a lot of jumping, pivoting, and sprinting? Or, has your knee simply been bothering you for a while, and you’re not exactly sure what to do about it? At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine in Ramsey, our northern New Jersey pain management team, led by Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy, have worked with hundreds of people experiencing patellofemoral pain syndrome. We use innovative, effective, and non-surgical techniques to reduce pain, restore normal function, and prevent recurrence.

 

What Is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome? What Does it Feel Like?

 

Your knee joint is a hinge joint, and one of the largest and most intricate joints within your body. Some of the main components of your knee include the patella (knee cap), distal end of the femur (thigh bone), patellar tendon (which connects your quadriceps muscle to the top of your tibia, aka your shin bone), internal knee ligaments, and menisci (protective cartilaginous cushions lining the inside of the knee joint). These structures must work together to form a healthy and properly functioning joint that can withstand activities of daily life and sport.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome really just means anterior knee pain. It is usually associated with a wearing down of the cartilage under the knee cap (a condition known as chondromalacia patella). Because there are no nerves within joint cartilage, this breakdown in itself will not directly cause pain. Instead, gradual degradation of the patella’s cartilage can trigger an inflammatory response which leads to symptoms including:

  • Pain located on the front of your knee, behind the knee cap
  • Pain in the knee during and/or after exercise, or upon rising after sitting for a long time
  • Crackling or popping sensations and noises in the knee while stair climbing or standing from sitting

You might notice these symptoms most when you try to run, jump, climb stairs, kneel down, or get on or off a chair or toilet.

 

Causes of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

 

As mentioned, sports that involve a lot of running and jumping can lead to patellofemoral knee pain. This is includes things like track and field, basketball, gymnastics, and cycling. Things like overuse, a sudden change in training intensity or frequency, and a sudden change in footwear, equipment, or athletic surface may bring on the symptoms. That said, a person doesn’t have to be an athlete to experience this condition.

Young people and especially women are also more prone to developing patellofemoral knee pain. Women tend to be affected by this syndrome more than men. This is thought to be related to the fact that women have wider hips, which increases what’s known as the “Q angle” between the hip and the knee. This may alter the alignment of the patella and increase the amount of tension it experiences during physical activity, thus increasing a woman’s risk to developing knee pain compared to a man.

 

How Our Ramsey Pain Team Manages Patellofemoral Knee Pain

 

Our approach to managing patellofemoral pain syndrome must be multifaceted. Our doctors use regenerative medicine techniques to revitalize damaged cartilage and reduce or eliminate the underlying cause of your knee pain. We may choose to provide interventional pain injections to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation, as well.

We perform osteopathic manipulations and joint mobilizations to help realign the alignment of the patella and reduce strain in that area. Our physical therapy team can also show you exercises and stretches to improve the stability around your knee and improve your performance and body mechanics during sport or work tasks.

Are you tired of being held back by knee pain? For excellence in non-surgical orthopedic and therapeutic solutions to your symptoms, call the sports medicine team at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine to schedule an appointment today. Our number is 201-962-9199. It’s our honor to help you recover from a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions. Call today!

pain management doctors nj

Achilles Tendonitis: Common Causes, Factors, & Treatment Options

Your Achilles tendon is a thick, strong band of connective tissue that attaches your calf muscle to the heel bone (calcaneus). You can feel it when you run your fingers along the lowest part of your leg, just behind the ankle. This tendon is responsible for helping control the movement and stability of your ankle joint and is involved in many dynamic activities including jumping, running, and pivoting.

When it Might be Achilles Tendonitis

Any time you see a word ending in “-itis,” you can safely assume that something is inflamed and irritated. With Achilles tendonitis, inflammation of the tendon leads to symptoms including:

  • Pain in the tendon, heel, and lower leg that is worse with activity and first thing in the morning
  • Stiffness in the tendon and ankle joint
  • Swelling and thickening of the tendon

Keep in mind that if the tendon becomes thicker, this does not necessarily mean it is becoming stronger. This thickening often occurs as a result of scar tissue formation, which is notably less elastic and pliable compared to normal tendon tissue. As a result, your ankle can become even more stiff and weak over time, especially if the condition isn’t managed appropriately.

Common Causes & Risk Factors for Achilles Tendonitis

Unlike certain sports injuries that tend to be caused by a frank trauma or a specific precipitating event, Achilles tendonitis tends to develop over time as a result of repetitive stress and strain. The “too much, too soon” blunder that many of us fall prey to is often a major cause. Additional causes or risk factors for developing Achilles tendonitis may include:

  • Bone spurs (visible on digital X-rays), or spots of excess bone growth from the calcaneus that can rub against and irritate the tendon
  • Shortened calf muscles and/or inflexible ankles
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Poor, unsupportive footwear
  • Improper sports technique

Treatment Options for Achilles Tendonitis

In the early stages of Achilles tendonitis, the main goals are to reduce swelling, pain, and inflammation. It’s also important to prevent additional tissue damage. Our team of Ramsey pain management clinicians and therapists achieve these goals through services including regenerative medicine, electrical stimulation, cryotherapy, and acupuncture. We’ll also provide thorough screens of your posture and movement mechanics to help identify any issues that may be contributing to your injury.

During the sub-acute stages of a recovery, our goal shifts to maximizing joint range of motion and increase the strength and stability of your ankle. Physical therapy exercises and osteopathic manipulations are very useful for this, as are other services.

Has Your Lower Leg & Heel Been Sore Lately? It Could be Achilles Tendonitis! Call Our Ramsey Pain Management Doctors Today

If you’ve been diagnosed with Achilles tendonitis, our team here at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine can help you get back on your feet. Our comprehensive selection of nonsurgical orthopedic and therapeutic solutions have helped thousands of people from Ramsey and surrounding Northern New Jersey communities recover from their injuries. To schedule an appointment with one of our Ramsey pain management doctors, Dr. Steven Ferrer or Dr. Kevin McElroy, or if you’d like to learn more about our nonsurgical pain management services, then call us today at (201) 962-9199.

Back Pain Specialists Ramsey NJ

Failed Back Surgery (Post Lumbar Laminectomy Syndrome)

Failed Back Surgery (Post Lumbar Laminectomy Syndrome)

 

Choosing to undergo back surgery is not a decision to take lightly. Even minor operations require a good deal of discussion and careful consideration between the surgeon and patient beforehand. Why? Virtually any invasive procedure carries some risk for complications. Most surgeons will require their patients to exhaust conservative treatment options first–including medications, injections, and physical therapy–before deciding to go under the knife.

Of course, this is not to say that surgery is never indicated. Hundreds of thousands of people every year undergo spinal surgery as a “last resort” when conservative measures don’t work. However, it’s been estimated that as many as 20% of these people fail to achieve a significant improvement in their back pain. This failure of symptom relief following back surgery is often called post lumbar laminectomy syndrome.

 

Why Do Some Back Surgeries Fail to Relieve Symptoms or Improve Function?

 

If you’ve had back surgery and have failed to see any meaningful improvement in your pain and dysfunction, there could be several reasons why you’re dealing with this. Recurring or continued nerve root compression, for instance, may be present. Likewise, there could be ongoing inflammation and/or scar tissue formation. Mobility and stability issues within nearby spinal joints could also be to blame.

Lastly, persistent back pain–even after a back surgery intended to relieve a person’s suffering–may be related to, if not directly caused by, other underlying conditions including diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, depression, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, sleep disorders, and smoking.

 

How Our Ramsey Pain Management Team Can Help You After a Failed Back Surgery

 

Understandably, the emotional, physical, and even financial implications of post lumbar laminectomy syndrome can be quite serious. At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, our Ramsey pain management team, led by Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy can offer several comprehensive treatment options that can get you the relief you’ve been hoping for and give you some much needed peace of mind.

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a neuromodulation technique that can reduce pain that is generated by an overly or abnormally firing nervous system (which may occur as a result of the stress and trauma associated with surgery or even a history of chronic back pain). Spinal cord stimulation requires the implantation of a small device (similar to a pacemaker) near the spine. This device emits tiny electrical impulses that effectively prevent pain signals from being sent to the brain.

Physical therapy is another common option for people recovering from back surgery (failed or otherwise). Our physical therapy team can provide specific exercises and manual techniques that promote tissue healing, reduce scar tissue formation and adhesions, normalize the alignment of the spine, improve spinal stability, and maximize the efficiency and motor control of key postural muscles with the trunk and pelvis.

Have you had back surgery and are not satisfied with your post-operative outcomes thus far? Are you looking for effective, affordable, and non-surgical ways to improve your back pain and related symptoms? If so, we invite you to call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, Northern New Jersey’s premier multidisciplinary pain management facility serving Ramsey and surrounding communities.

To schedule an initial consultation or to learn more about our comprehensive pain management services, call us today at 201 962 9199.

Knee Pain Specialists Ramsey NJ

Knee Arthritis

Our Ramsey Pain Management Doctors Offer Comprehensive Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis

 

Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation within an affected joint. There are actually several types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis being the most common. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health around 27 million people in the United States are currently living with this disease.

Any joint in the body can be affected by osteoarthritis, however the knee joint is the most frequently affected. A person with this condition experiences progressive degeneration of the cartilage within their knee. Normally, cartilage protects the ends of bones and allows for pain-free and normal range of motion. If this tissue begins to degrade and breakdown, you’re left with bone rubbing on bone–ouch!

At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, serving Ramsey, NJ and surrounding communities, our pain management doctors, Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy, along with their multidisciplinary staff, work together to provide effective, long-lasting, and affordable solutions for symptom relief from this common degenerative condition. Wondering if this could be the cause of your knee pain? Keep reading to learn more.

Top Causes of Knee Osteoarthritis

Knee osteoarthritis should not be considered a “normal” part of aging. While it’s true that it typically affects people over the age of 65, the simple “wear and tear” often associated with growing older is not always the main factor.

For example, having a history of a knee injury tends to increase your risk of developing knee osteoarthritis. Having a physically demanding job can also increase this risk. Additional factors, many of which are preventable through lifestyle changes, include smoking, genetics, bone/skeletal deformities, and being overweight.

Common Signs & Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis

You may have osteoarthritis of the knee if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Knee pain while walking, climbing stairs, and standing up
  • Joint tenderness, swelling, warmth, or redness
  • Joint instability
  • A feeling of grating or grinding within the joint (called crepitus)
  • Bone spurs and joint space narrowing/irregularity (as seen on X-ray imaging)

You may also have weakness of the muscles around your knee, abnormal lower leg alignment, difficulty kneeling or getting off the floor, and even an increase in pain with rainy weather. The diagnosis is typically confirmed through a combination of physical examination results, patient history, and diagnostic imaging tests.

Multidisciplinary Pain Management for Your Knee Osteoarthritis at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine

Here at our Ramsey NJ pain management clinic, we know that no two pairs of knees are the same. If you come to see us for help managing your knee osteoarthritis, you can expect to be provided with an individualized treatment plan that will be adjusted as necessary to meet your needs.

A few of the non-surgical treatment options we provide that have helped our clients in the past include:

If you do elect to have surgery, such as a total knee replacement, then our team can still support you in your post-operative phase to ensure your recovery goes as smoothly as possible.

Has your painful knee been holding you back from getting the most out of life? Let our pain management team here at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine help you move with greater ease and less pain. To schedule an initial consultation, call us now at (201) 962-9199.