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Do you have chronic back pain and are you finding it hard to perform certain tasks without pain? Consult more about it with Dr. Calvert of Linden, New Jersey, a knowledgeable doctor who practices at the clinic. In his years of practice, Dr. Calvert takes time to attend to her patients with their specific problems, and, for the lovers of excitement with little pain, he changes their lives from being painful to being painless. Don’t presume that what is best for curing a person is to wake up painless and be able to do everything one wants to do. Dr. Calvert’s customized wellness plan coupled with your direction can make this a realistic goal.

Back pain is perfectly manageable – don’t let it slow you down. To seek help from Dr. Calvert and alleviate the pain, you can call us at (973) 798-1787 during business hours to make an appointment.

Back pain can range from a mild, annoying ache to severe, debilitating discomfort. It is one of the most common reasons for visiting healthcare providers, second only to respiratory infections. Back pain is a leading cause of missed workdays, affecting nearly 80% to 90% of people in the United States at some point in their lives. Medical professionals categorize back pain in several ways to better diagnose and treat the condition.

By location, back pain can be identified as upper back pain (located between the shoulders), middle back pain (in the area between the upper and lower back), or lower back pain (situated below the ribcage). It can also be described by side, with pain on the left side of the spine, directly along the spine (center), or on the right side of the spine. The severity of back pain is another important category, ranging from mild (discomfort that is noticeable but manageable), to moderate (pain that is more persistent and may interfere with daily activities), to severe (intense pain that can be debilitating and disrupt normal activities).

Understanding the causes of back pain is the first step toward effective treatment. Common causes include:

  • Muscle or Ligament Strain: Repeated heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement can strain back muscles and spinal ligaments. These strains can occur from improper lifting techniques, overexertion during physical activities, or even poor posture. Over time, this can lead to chronic back pain as the muscles and ligaments struggle to recover from repeated stress.
  • Bulging or Ruptured Discs: Discs act as cushions between the vertebrae in your spine. When they bulge or rupture, they can press on a nerve, causing pain. Disc problems can arise from age-related wear and tear, injuries, or degenerative disc disease. The pain from a bulging or ruptured disc can radiate down the legs, a condition commonly known as sciatica.
  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis can affect the lower back. In some cases, arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis. Arthritis-related back pain is often accompanied by stiffness and decreased range of motion, making daily activities more challenging. Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the spine, causing chronic pain and inflammation.
  • Skeletal Irregularities: Conditions such as scoliosis, which is a curvature of the spine, can lead to back pain. Other skeletal irregularities include kyphosis (an exaggerated forward rounding of the back) and lordosis (an excessive inward curve of the lower back). These conditions can put additional strain on the spine and surrounding muscles, leading to chronic discomfort.
  • Osteoporosis: Bones weakened by osteoporosis can develop painful fractures. Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by decreased bone density and increased fragility. Vertebral fractures caused by osteoporosis can lead to significant back pain and may even cause a noticeable change in posture.
Relieve back pain in Linden, NJ with expert treatment. Call (973)-922-9515 for effective care and start feeling better today!

Back pain symptoms can vary widely and may include:

  • Persistent aching or stiffness anywhere along your spine, from the base of the neck to the tailbone. This general discomfort can be a sign of underlying issues such as muscle strain or arthritis.
  • Sharp, localized pain in the neck, upper back, or lower back—especially after lifting heavy objects or engaging in other strenuous activity. This type of pain is often associated with specific injuries or conditions like herniated discs.
  • Chronic ache in the middle or lower back, particularly after sitting or standing for extended periods. Prolonged static positions can exacerbate underlying conditions such as degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis.
  • Muscle spasms or a noticeable muscle tightness in the back. Muscle spasms can occur as the body’s response to muscle strain or injury, leading to sudden, intense pain.
  • Radiating pain down the leg, often referred to as sciatica. This occurs when a bulging or herniated disc compresses the sciatic nerve, causing pain that travels down the leg and can be accompanied by tingling or numbness.

Certain factors may increase your risk of developing back pain, including:

  • Age: Back pain is more common as you get older, starting around age 30 or 40. The natural aging process leads to the degeneration of spinal structures, making them more susceptible to injury and pain.
  • Lack of Exercise: Weak, unused muscles in your back and abdomen might lead to back pain. A sedentary lifestyle can cause muscles to weaken and lose flexibility, reducing their ability to support the spine properly.
  • Excess Weight: Excess body weight puts extra stress on your back. The additional load can accelerate the degeneration of spinal discs and joints, leading to chronic pain and discomfort.
  • Diseases: Some types of arthritis and cancer can contribute to back pain. Conditions like ankylosing spondylitis, a type of inflammatory arthritis, specifically affect the spine and can cause chronic back pain and stiffness.
  • Improper Lifting: Using your back instead of your legs can lead to back pain. Poor lifting techniques can strain muscles and ligaments, increasing the risk of injury.
  • Psychological Conditions: People prone to depression and anxiety appear to have a greater risk of back pain. Psychological stress can manifest physically, leading to muscle tension and increased sensitivity to pain.

Diagnosing the cause of back pain often involves a combination of approaches:

  • Medical History and Physical Exam: The doctor will ask about your symptoms and examine your back. A thorough medical history can help identify potential causes and contributing factors, while a physical exam can reveal areas of tenderness, range of motion limitations, and other signs of underlying issues.
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays, MRI, or CT scans can help identify the source of pain, such as a herniated disc or arthritis. These imaging tests provide detailed pictures of your spine and can reveal structural abnormalities, degenerative changes, and other conditions that may be causing your pain.
  • Nerve Studies: Electromyography (EMG) measures electrical impulses produced by the nerves and the responses of your muscles. Nerve conduction studies can help diagnose conditions like sciatica by evaluating the function of the nerves and muscles in your back and legs. These tests can pinpoint nerve damage and guide appropriate treatment strategies.

For those seeking back pain treatment in Linden, NJ, several non-surgical options can provide significant relief. These treatments are often effective for managing pain and improving function without the need for invasive procedures. Understanding these options can help you make informed decisions about your health and find the best approach for your specific condition.

Medications are often the first line of defense in managing back pain and can be highly effective in reducing discomfort and improving mobility.

  • Over-the-counter Pain Relievers: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen can help reduce pain and inflammation. These medications are accessible and provide relief for many individuals experiencing mild to moderate back pain. They work by blocking substances in the body that cause inflammation and pain.
  • Muscle Relaxants: These can be prescribed for short-term use to relieve acute back pain. Muscle relaxants are particularly useful for pain associated with muscle spasms. They work by reducing muscle tension and providing a sedative effect, which can help ease discomfort and promote relaxation.
  • Topical Pain Relievers: Creams, salves, or patches can be applied to the skin over the painful area. These products often contain ingredients like menthol, capsaicin, or lidocaine, which can provide localized relief by numbing the area or producing a warming or cooling sensation.

Injections offer a targeted approach to pain relief, delivering medication directly to the source of pain. These treatments can provide more immediate and long-lasting relief compared to oral medications.

  • Epidural Steroid Injections: These injections deliver steroids directly into the epidural space around the spinal nerves, reducing inflammation and pain. They are commonly used for conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or sciatica. The anti-inflammatory effects of the steroids can significantly decrease pain and improve function for several months.
  • Facet Joint Injections: These are used for pain stemming from the small joints in the spine. Facet joints can become painful due to arthritis or injury, and injecting steroids into these joints can reduce inflammation and provide relief. This treatment can also help diagnose the source of back pain, as pain relief from the injection confirms the facet joints as the pain source.
  • Nerve Blocks: Injections of anesthetic around nerves or into muscles can provide temporary pain relief and help identify the source of the pain. Nerve blocks can be particularly useful for diagnostic purposes, as they can isolate the exact nerve causing the pain. If the pain is alleviated after the injection, it indicates that the targeted nerve is the source of the problem.
  • Trigger Point Injections: These injections are used to treat painful areas of muscle that contain trigger points, or knots of muscle that form when muscles do not relax. In this procedure, our doctors insert a small needle into the trigger point and inject a local anesthetic, sometimes mixed with a steroid. This can help alleviate muscle pain and improve range of motion.

Back pain can be challenging, but relief is available in Linden, NJ. Understand the causes, symptoms, and risks, then seek medical care for relief. Medications and injections offer significant relief, from over-the-counter pain relievers to targeted treatments like epidural steroid injections. Take a proactive approach—call (973)-922-9515 to book an appointment and start feeling better today.