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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!

Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment

Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment for Leg Cramps at Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine

Vein Treatment Bergen County NJAre your legs frequently painful and achy? We encourage you to visit our comprehensive Pain Management clinic in Ramsey, NJ, serving Ramsey and surrounding Bergen County communities. We’re one of the few places in the area offering Radiofrequency Ablation, an innovative and minimally invasive treatment used for spider veins, varicose veins, and leg cramps caused by the latter.

3 Signs Your Leg Cramps are Caused by Varicose Veins

Leg cramps can occur due to a wide number of conditions. Some of these conditions are relatively mild, while others can be much more serious. For this reason, it’s important to consult with your primary care physician if you have persistent leg cramps.

Could your leg cramps be caused by Varicose Veins? Here are three signs indicating yes:

  1. You have veins in your legs that look bulbous and rope-like.
  2. Your lower legs are frequently itchy and/or swollen.
  3. You are pregnant, overweight, or obese (common risk factors for varicose veins).

Varicose Veins look the way they do because blood gets stuck in them. This is usually due to a dysfunction in the one-way valves which normally keeps blood flowing; increased pressure in the legs is the leading cause. Unlike spider veins (which are generally more of a cosmetic issue), varicose veins can lead to cramping, achiness, and a feeling of “heaviness” in the legs.

How Radiofrequency Ablation Eases Leg Cramps from Varicose Veins

Radiofrequency Ablation is beneficial for both cosmetic and medical reasons. Here’s how it works:

One of our experienced pain doctors inserts a small tube (also called a catheter) into the damaged vein through the skin. An electrical current from a radio wave is sent through the tube, heating the target tissue. This leads to scarring, which closes the varicose vein and prevents additional blood from pooling inside it.

Because blood can no longer get stuck in the veins, radiofrequency ablation can alleviate pain and leg cramping—in addition to reducing the appearance of the varicose veins themselves!

5 Benefits of Radiofrequency Ablation for Leg Cramps

Why are so many people coming to try out this new non-surgical and FDA approved technique for leg cramp relief? Just check out a few of the main benefits!

Radiofrequency ablation is:

  1. Covered by most medical insurance plans (including Medicare)
  2. Anesthesia-free (at most you may benefit from a local anesthetic)
  3. Suture-free
  4. Little discomfort
  5. Minimal to no downtime—you can walk right out of our clinic!

 

Do Your Legs Cramp and Ache? Find Out if Radiofrequency Ablation is Right for You

A simple outpatient visit or two could be the only thing standing between you and pain-free legs! To schedule an initial consultation with one of our pain physicians, Dr. Steven Ferrer or Dr. Kevin McElroy, or to learn more about our other non-surgical orthopedic and rehabilitative services, contact Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine today at  201 962 9199

 

Ready To Schedule Your Appointment?

Leg Pain Relief With Radiofrequency Ablation

Leg Pain & Radiofrequency Ablation In Ramsey New Jersey | Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine

Leg Pain & Radiofrequency Ablation

As a respected multidisciplinary pain relief clinic in Ramsey, Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine stays on the leading edge of medical innovation. Our team, led by Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy, provides people from the Bergen County area minimally invasive treatments for a variety of pain conditions including treatments for Leg Pain.

One condition we see frequently is Leg Pain due to poor blood flow. Radiofrequency Ablation is a newer treatment option which we now proudly offer for men and women in need of relief.

What is Radiofrequency Ablation?

Radiofrequency Ablation uses heat to damage tissue and create scar tissue in the target treatment area allowing blood to redirect away from damaged veins. Radiofrequency Ablation is a specific procedure which uses electrical currents from radio waves to ablate target tissues and trigger the scarring process. 

While this may sound counterintuitive, Radiofrequency Ablation resolves leg pain caused by poor blood flow by closing off damaged veins and preventing more blood from collecting in them. This procedure has also been approved to relieve Leg Pain caused by a number of conditions in the legs including various Vascular Issues.

How Does a Radiofrequency Ablation Session For Leg Pain Work? 

Here’s how this innovative new treatment works, performed in a simple outpatient procedure in our very own clinic!

  • The Ramsey Leg Pain doctor inserts a thin tube (called a catheter) into the vein through the skin.  The tube is very small, so you’ll only need a local anesthetic. 
  • Electrical currents from a radio wave are fed through the tube.
  • When this energy comes in contact with the target tissue, it will lead to scarring and subsequent closing of the vein. 

Research indicates Radiofrequency Ablation has a nearly 90% success rate for people with Leg Pain caused by poor blood flow. The Radiofrequency Ablation treatment can be applied multiple times to effectively close the damaged vein and relieve Leg Pain. However, most patients experience relief after just one session at our Ramsey office!

Top Benefits of Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment for Leg Pain Due to Varicose Veins

Radiofrequency Ablation is particularly effective for the management of Leg Pain caused by poor blood flow. It’s a minimally invasive procedure which requires a simple outpatient appointment. Patients are able to walk out of the office in no time!

Other reasons why Radiofrequency Ablation is so popular is because it is:

  • Non-surgical
  • FDA approved
  • Covered by most medical insurance policies
  • Free of general anesthesia

Radiofrequency ablation also leaves no sutures and requires minimal downtime.

Curious About Radiofrequency Ablation For Your Leg Pain?

If you have achy and painful legs with or without varicose veins, contact Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine. Our Ramsey, New Jersey Leg Pain Management team can help you feel better in as little as one visit! Contact us today at (201) 962-9199. We’d love to help you find relief. 

Vein Treatment Bergen County NJ

Spider Veins

Radiofrequency Ablation For Spider Veins Availble In Ramsey, New Jersey

The Ramsey, New Jersey physician duo Dr. Kevin McElroy and Dr. Steven Ferrer of Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine are known for bringing the latest advances in physical medicine and rehabilitation to Bergen County and its’ surrounding areas. In addition to our orthopedic services and sports injury services, our team is now proud to offer a new non-surgical pain management treatment for spider veins, a common vascular problem. 

What Are Spider Veins?

Spider Veins are a common vascular issue that results in tiny blue, red, or purple lines on the skin, typically in the legs. They occur due to some kind of problem with the way veins normally function. In some cases, for instance, Spider Veins happen when one-way valves inside the veins don’t close properly, causing blood to leak and get stuck in the vein. If left uncorrected, Spider Veins can build up enough pressure to weaken the vein walls, allowing the Spider Veins to grow larger.

Sometimes, but not always, Spider Veins can turn into Varicose Veins, which are larger, more twisted, and more bulbous. Varicose Veins can have a rope-like appearance under the skin (unlike spider veins, which are flat). Varicose veins can sometimes cause physical discomfort and, although rarely, may lead to medical complications such as blood clots.

People who are pregnant, overweight and obese, or older are more likely to have Spider Veins. Additionally, Women are more likely than men to have both Spider Veins and Varicose Veins.

How Radiofrequency Ablation Works

“Ablation” is a technique used to heat and damage tissue. In the case of Spider Veins, Ablation creates scar tissue which closes off damaged veins. This way, no more blood can get trapped inside.

“Radiofrequency” ablation involves an electrical current from a radio wave instead of a light laser beam. To do the procedure, our Bergen County doctors insert a very small tube called a catheter into the Spider Vein (via a small incision) and emit Radiofrequency energy through it. This creates scar tissue, which closes the vein. 

The success rate of Radiofrequency Ablation is impressive. According to at least one meta-analysis published in 2009, Radiofrequency Ablation works about 88% of the time.

Like any procedure, Radiofrequency Ablation does carry at least some small risk for complications. Usually, these complications are mild, and may include prickling or burning sensation on the skin.

7 Benefits of Radiofrequency Ablation for Spider Veins and Other Vascular Problems

It’s FDA Approved

Radiofrequency Ablation is approved for use in the treatment of Spider Veins, Varicose Veins, and other cosmetic and/or medical reasons. 

It’s Completely Non-Surgical

Radiofrequency Ablation takes a minimally invasive approach to resolve vascular issues, manage pain and improve cosmetic appearance.

Most Medical Insurance Plans Cover It (Including Medicare)

Our front office team can help you determine if your health insurance will cover this effective treatment.

It Requires No Anesthesia

We may use local anesthesia or give you a simple sedative to make sure you’re comfortable. No general anesthesia necessary!

It Requires No Sutures

Just a small incision is required to allow the catheter to get into the vein. 

You’ll Have Little to No Discomfort

Most people report little to no pain after this procedure, which can be done in a short office visit. 

Downtime is Minimal

You’ll need to wear compression stockings for about a week and have a follow up with us to make sure the vein closed properly. But expect to be feeling as good as new before you know it!

Innovative Spider Vein Treatment In Ramsey, New Jersey

Connect with our Bergen County Pain Management team at Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine to learn about our exciting new treatment option for Spider Veins and other common vascular problems. We’d be happy to determine if this service is right for you, and help you address any other health concerns you may have using our wide-ranging and state-of-the-art tools and technology. Contact us (201) 962-9199 today.

Radiofrequency for Varicose Veins

Radiofrequency Ablation For Varicose Veins Available Now!

At Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine, our multidisciplinary team is always on the hunt for new ways to bring medical innovation to our patients from the Bergen County area. That’s why we’re proud to offer an advanced, effective, and non-surgical treatment — Radiofrequency Ablation —for people living with Varicose Veins

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) For Veins At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine

What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are superficial veins (usually in your legs) that become twisted and enlarged due to increased pressure. Many varicose veins simply pose a cosmetic issue. People often feel frustrated and embarrassed by the way their varicose veins look (generally dark blue or purple that are bulging or cord-like).

Some cases of varicose veins, however, can cause more problematic symptoms, including pain, achiness, skin irritation, and skin discoloration. While complications of varicose veins are rare (such as bleeding, blood clots, and ulcers), they can occur. If you have varicose veins, it’s a good idea to consult with a medical professional to see how you can minimize them or prevent additional ones from developing. 

What do our doctors recommend? Well, in addition to regularly exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and diet, and avoiding sedentary behavior, we suggest Radiofrequency Ablation. If it’s right for you, this treatment can drastically reduce the severity and appearance of your varicose veins. We now offer Radiofrequency Ablation at our Ramsey, New Jersey office!

What is Radiofrequency Ablation?

Ablation is a medical procedure that uses heat to damage tissue and create scar tissue on a target treatment area. Radiofrequency Ablation is a specific kind of energy (versus laser beams, for instance) that can be used to ablate tissues. This treatment is especially effective in treating vascular issues. Here’s how it works:

One of our Ramsey medical doctors inserts a thin tube (called a catheter) through the skin and into the vein. Then, Radiofrequency energy is directed through this tube into the vein where it scars and closes the vein tissue.

This may sound strange, but for the purposes of varicose veins, it helps close the vein so it no longer appears discolored and torturous. Research suggest that this Radiofrequency Ablation has a nearly 90% success rate in treating vascular conditions. If a varicose vein doesn’t close after the first treatment, the treatment can be provided again, in addition to other vein treatments.

 We can perform Radiofrequency Ablation treatment right in our state-of-the-art Ramsey, New Jersey clinic using only local anesthetic. Patients who receive this innovative vascular treatment can then walk right out the door! 

Top Benefits of Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment for Varicose Veins

Radiofrequency Ablation has several uses in the medical field, and it’s particularly beneficial for the management of varicose veins. Some of the benefits of the procedure are listed below:

  • Non-surgical
  • FDA approved
  • Covered by Medicare and most other medical insurance plans
  • Requires only local anesthesia 
  • No sutures
  • Results in minimal discomfort
  • Requires minimal downtime

Can Radiofrequency Ablation Help You With Your Varicose Veins? 

If you live near Ramsey NJ and are frustrated with unsightly and uncomfortable varicose veins, contact Dr. Steven Ferrer, Dr. Kevin McElroy, and the rest of the team at Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine at (201) 962-9199. Our new Radiofrequency Ablation program may be a great fit for you and can help you find relief from this common issue. 

Call today!

trigger_point_injections

Five Yoga Positions that Can Help with Chronic Back Pain

If you’re suffering from chronic back pain, you’re not alone. Each year millions of people experience back pain symptoms ranging from mild to debilitating. The good news is that there are many things you can do to alleviate your pain, from strengthening core muscles to making sure you don’t sit for extended periods. Yoga can be excellent for many people with chronic back pain – check out these five poses that may help.

Downward-Facing Dog

Even if you don’t have much experience with yoga, you probably know this popular pose. Downward dog benefits the entire body – it elongates the spine while strengthening the core, lower back, and hamstrings. It’s easy to get into this pose, too. Get on your hands and knees with your toes tucked under. Then, raise your hips toward the ceiling as you push your heels into the floor. Keep your back and legs straight. Hold for five slow breaths, relaxing into the stretch.

Upward-Facing Dog

From downward dog, the upward dog is a smooth transition. Shift your body forward into a plank position. Point your toes back with the tops of your feet on the floor. Look upward as you keep your knees lifted off the ground. Hold for three slow breaths. This pose opens up the chest and improves the flexibility of your abs and back.

Low Lunge with Back Bend

This pose can stretch and strengthen your entire back. Begin in a low lunge position and slowly deepen the lunge until your back knee is on the floor. Raise your arms up until they are beside your ears and lean back gently. For an extra neck release, place your hands behind your head and interlace your fingers. Hold this pose for three slow breaths.

Seated Forward Fold

Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you and your back straight. Slowly walk your hands down your legs as far as you can. If you can grab your toes, do so – if not, reach as far as you can comfortably. You’ll feel an excellent hamstring stretch even if you rest your hands on your shins. You’ll know where to stop because you’ll feel a gentle stretch – if it feels too intense or painful, back off and hold a more comfortable position. This stretch is great for lengthening the hamstrings and back and helping you relax. Hold for several slow breaths, relaxing into the stretch – you’ll probably find that you can stretch a little farther with each exhale.

Seated Spinal Twist

The seated spinal twist improves both your spine mobility and your posture. Start in a seated position with your left foot crossed over your right leg, knee bent so that your left foot is positioned against the outside of your right knee. Lift your right arm and hook your right elbow on the outside of your right knee. Gently looking over your left shoulder will give you a nice twist/stretch that feels great. Hold for three slow breaths and repeat on the other side.

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

Everything You Need to Know about a Meniscus Tear

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

Meniscus Tear Symptoms

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

Meniscus Tear Treatment

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

Meniscus Teat Recovery Time

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

Meniscus Tear Prevention

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

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

trigger_point_injections

Trigger Point Injections: FAQs

Trigger point injections contain a local anesthetic and sometimes a corticosteroid and are a relatively easy and inexpensive treatment option that can provide an instant reduction in pain. In addition to the immediate pain relief, they can also provide long-term pain relief and help improve range of motion, helping patients return to their normal daily activities.

Trigger point injections are particularly helpful for patients whose pain has not responded to more
conservative treatments such as physical therapy and massage. They can be used to treat pain from
various conditions such as fibromyalgia, migraine, tension, myofascial pain syndrome, and more, efficiently reducing or even eliminating dependence on pain medications.

What are trigger points?
You can develop trigger points in any area of the body, but they are most familiar near bony attachments and in the shoulder and pelvic areas. These are tender, sensitive, or painful nodules or areas that can usually be identified using palpation. They have many different causes. These tender points may form as a result of an overuse injury or muscle strain, herniated disk, fracture, compressed nerve, postural problems, osteoarthritis, or surgical incision healing sites. However, a direct cause cannot always be found; sometimes, the section itself is the source of pain.

Who can benefit?
These injections are typically recommended for patients whose trigger points can be found by palpation. Your doctor will assess to ensure that you do not have joint disorders such as chronic shoulder pain or lower back pain that could become disabling if not treated properly. That’s because trigger point injections are not a cure, but rather a pain management technique. Patients who should not undergo trigger point injections include those with a hemorrhagic syndrome, allergies to local anesthetics, anticoagulant use, or psychiatric disturbance. They are also not recommended for patients with multiple trigger points who also have another condition such as hyperthyroidism, estrogen deficiency, or Cushing disease. However, for other patients, they represent a highly effective treatment with only a small risk of complications.

What to expect
Patients will discuss the procedure with their doctors to ensure that they understand the procedure and what to expect. Sometimes, the immediate pain relief is followed by a return of the pain; follow-up
Injections can provide the desired results. After the procedure, patients can often resume their daily activities and even return to work. Continuing a treatment plan of physical therapy, stretching exercises, or rest – as recommended – can maximize the results of the procedure.

Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine now offers trigger point injections alongside a range of treatments designed to address back pain, neck pain, sports injuries, car accident injuries, and Workers’ Compensation cases.

Stem Cell Injections: Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of conditions are treated with stem cells?

Stem cell therapy is at the forefront of modern medicine and has the potential to treat some diseases and conditions. Research into stem cell therapy is advancing at a rapid pace, and it is essential for us to at Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine to utilize stem cell therapy only in conditions that are researched. We focus on using stem cell therapy to treat injuries to the body, specifically significant joints (shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle), muscles and tendons, and the spine.

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are the “building blocks” of the human body. They have the potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. Serving as a sort of repair system, they can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells for as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a cartilage cell, or a brain cell.

What are the different types of stem cells?

  • Adult stem cells
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells

What are the different types of adult stem cells?

  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells (Blood Stem Cells)
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells
  • Neural Stem Cells
  • Epithelial Stem Cells
  • Skin Stem Cells

What types of stem cells do we use at Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine?

We utilize adult stem cells. Specifically, the mesenchymal stem cells, take from the patient’s fat or bone marrow. Fat cells are usually preferred as they are easily obtainable and have the potential to develop into cartilage cells, bone cells, muscle cells, and tendon cells.

What is involved in the procedure?

The procedure is performed at an outpatient surgical center, typically with light sedation. The entire procedure takes 30 to 60 minutes. If fat cells are used to obtain the stem cells, a small amount of fat is removed out of the “love handle” area. If bone marrow cells are used, a small amount of bone marrow will be withdrawn from the pelvis. The cells are then processed in a specialized centrifuge to extract the stem cells. The stem cells are then injected into the area
that is being treated.

What is the recovery time after the procedure?

There is minimal to no downtime after the procedure. Typically the patient is advised to rest on the day of the procedure. Patients can return to work and light exercise the following day. Patients can typically resume their full exercise/training regimen a week after the procedure. Patients are advised to avoid anti-inflammatory medications, like naproxen and ibuprofen, for 12 weeks after the procedure.

What are the risks of the procedure?

The risks of the procedure are minimal. Some patients can experience bruising, redness, or mild soreness at the site of the fat or bone marrow removal. This typically lasts 24-48 hours. For patients with a sensitivity to anesthesia, there may be headaches or nausea that resolve with 24 hours. There are no known long-term side effects from the stem cells.

When will I see results?

The time frame for seeing results varies by patient, but most patients report improvement between 4 and 12 weeks. Some patients may have improvement up to 6 months following the procedure.

Do I have any options if I don’t know want to use my cells?

Yes. If you prefer to not undergo harvesting of your stem cells from either fat or bone marrow, you do have the option of using donated stem cells from umbilical cords. The cells are from live births that are freely given, so there are no ethical concerns. The umbilical stem cells are screened for disease and can be utilized in the same ways stem cells from your fat, or bone marrow are used

Are stem cells covered by insurance?

In most circumstances, if a patient is determined to be a candidate for stem cell therapy, it will be covered by insurance. Using donated umbilical stem cells is not covered by insurance.

Am I a candidate for stem cell therapy?

To determine if you are a candidate for stem cell therapy, you will need to schedule a consult with one of our physicians. Our doctors will perform a complete history and physical exam and review your medical records, if available. They will then discuss your treatment options, including stem cell therapy, and answer any questions you may have.

Contact us at 201-962- 9199 or info@pssmramsey.com to schedule your appointment.

pain specialists ramsey nj

Text Neck: A Modern Health Concern

Text Neck: A Modern Health Concern

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

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

Hint: chances are, it looks something like this:

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

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

What is Text Neck? Causes and Top Signs & Symptoms

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

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

Symptoms of text neck include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pain Management Office 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.

Pain Management Office Ramsey NJ

Treatments We Offer For Shoulder Pain

Treatments We Offer For Shoulder Pain

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

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

Our Comprehensive & Multidisciplinary Approach to Shoulder Pain in Bergen County

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

Our services include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shoulder Pain Specialists Ramsey NJ

What Is Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)?

What Is Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)?

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

What is Frozen Shoulder?

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

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

Causes & Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder

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

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

How Our Ramsey Pain Management Doctors Treat Frozen Shoulder Syndrome

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

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

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

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

Pain Management Office Ramsey NJ

5 Signs You May Have Arthritis

5 Signs You May Have Arthritis

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

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

1. Painful swollen joints.

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

2. Joint stiffness.

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

3. Joint deformities.

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

4. Crepitus in the joints.

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

5. Joint pain that is worse in the morning.

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

Why See Our Ramsey Pain Management Team If You Have Arthritis

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

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

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

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

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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!

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Regenerative Treatments at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine

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

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.