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We’re happy to present our latest TV commercial for Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine.
This video features our state-of-the-art medical facility in Ramsey, NJ and gives you a snapshot of our cutting edge diagnostic equipment and the hands-on approach we take with each of our patients.

Unlike other doctor offices, we can diagnose and treat your pain in one facility – so you don’t have to visit multiple doctors and locations to get the care you need. Our unique team approach will get you back to your life faster.

We treat a variety of conditions including neck pain, back injuries, joint pain, headaches and sports injuries – using non-surgical treatments like physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, regenerative injections, and more.

So whether you are a hardworking mom, weekend warrior, contractor, construction worker, teacher, policeman, fireman or sanitation worker – don’t let pain slow you down. Let us help you live pain free – without the need for surgery or dangerous pain medications.

To learn more about our pain management solutions, or the conditions we treat, please contact our medical facility in Ramsey, NJ at (201) 962-9199.

We look forward to being your #1 solution for non-surgical pain management!

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!

pain management office ramsey nj

Regenerative Treatments at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine

The human body is capable of regenerating cells and tissue, an astounding feat which modern medicine has been able to take advantage of in order to facilitate healing and recovery from a variety of acute and chronic conditions.

Here at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, our experienced team of healthcare practitioners, led by Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy, is proud to offer innovative and state-of-the-art regenerative treatments alongside a comprehensive list of orthopedic and rehabilitative services. Based on cutting edge research, our regenerative treatments help our patients’ bodies do what they do best: heal themselves.

Regenerative Treatments Offered by Our Ramsey Pain Management Team

Our Ramsey pain management staff stands behind the various services we offer here at our clinic. It’s our honor to be one of the only treatment facilities in the country utilizing the highly innovative and effective regenerative treatments, which include:

Stem Cell Injections

Stem cells are “undifferentiated,” which means they are able to turn into any cell or tissue in the body (including muscle, cartilage, ligament, and tendon). Stem cells can be taken from an umbilical cord (donated after birth, thus mitigating ethical issues) or even your own body fat (adipose) tissue. These cells are collected and then placed in the targeted tissue via straightforward injection. This is a simple outpatient procedure guided by ultrasound or X-ray, often covered by insurance and performed in an outpatient surgical center

Following a stem cell injection, these cells get to work by growing, repairing, and ultimately regenerating the damaged tissue. Tissue healing begins to ramp up within a few weeks, with complete healing typically taking up to 3 months.

Platelet-rich Plasma Injections

Another option we offer for regenerative therapy is an injection of platelet-rich plasma (a healing and nutrient-rich component of blood). This plasma is extracted and concentrated from a sample of your own blood (removing concerns for donor rejection), and then injected into the targeted tissue. Unlike stem cell injections, platelet rich plasma injections do tend to cause a little soreness for a few days and isn’t covered by insurance.

Conditions Which May Benefit from Regenerative Treatments

Over the years, Dr. McElroy and Dr. Ferrer have found that regenerative medicine has helped accelerate and maximize healing of a variety of conditions, such as:

  • Tendon injuries
  • Muscle tears
  • Ligament or meniscus injuries

Many people have found benefits from this innovative therapy. A number of professional athletes like Kobe Bryant and Peyton Manning have utilized this treatment. So whether you’re a star athlete or simply looking for an effective way to relieve pain and improve your quality of life, we encourage you to ask us about stem cell and platelet-rich plasma injections. They may be just what you need to jumpstart your journey back to health.

Are You In Pain? Wondering if a Regenerative Treatment is a Good Fit For You? Call Our Northern New Jersey Pain Management Clinic

If you’re looking for effective solution to your orthopedic condition, contact Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today. We’re a leading non-surgical pain management facility in Northern New Jersey, and are continually striving to deliver better care for our patients. To schedule an initial appointment or to learn more about regenerative treatments (or any of our other services), then call us now at 201 962 9199.

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.

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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.

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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.

sports injury doctor ramsey nj

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.

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!

Pain Management Doctors Ramsey NJ

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.

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!

hip pain treatment ramsey nj

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.