Conditions We Treat
NJNBI offers a wide range of treatment options for common conditions affecting all aspects of the spine including:
Spondylolisthesis occurs when one of the vertebrae of the spine slides out of place, with the most common occurrence in the lower back (lumbar) region.
Cervical spondylosis is the result of degenerative disc disease, where the facet joints within the spine begin to develop arthritis from increased pressure.
Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (aka spinal cord compression) is a condition where narrowing of the spinal canal occurs due to wear and tear over time.
Degenerative disc disease is not a disease but rather a term used to describe the normal changes in the spinal discs over the course of time.
Also known as adult onset scoliosis, degenerative scoliosis is when the curvature of the spine is caused by the degeneration of the facet joints.
A herniated disc, also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, is one of the most common spinal injuries. Learn about the causes and diagnosis here.
While there are a variety of causes for lower back pain, the majority of them result from the natural degeneration of parts of the spine.
Lumbar spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal narrows, compressing the spinal cord and nerves in the lower back.
Neck pain is a common problem categorized as discomfort in the neck area. Read more about the common symptoms and treatment options available.
Radiculopathy is a condition that causes radiating pain into the extremities along the course of a spinal nerve root, commonly in the lower back and neck.
Sciatica is a condition that causes pain that radiates through the sciatic nerve, which runs through the lower back then splits and travels down each leg.
A spinal tumor is an abnormal tissue growth typically associated with cancer. Learn about the 3 types of spinal tumors as well as diagnosis and treatments.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
While there are a variety of causes for lower back pain, the majority of them result from the natural degeneration of parts of the spine. In some cases, causes are from overuse or acute injury such as lifting, bending or twisting the wrong way.
Lower back pain may be caused by:
Sprains and Strains
A sprain is a tearing or stretching of the ligaments, the tissue which connects the two bones together within the joints. A strain is a stretching or tearing in the muscles or tendons. Tendons are the strands of tissue that connect muscles to the bones.
One of the most common causes of lower back pain, over-activity can result in injured or stretched muscles or ligaments. The stiffness and pain caused by over-activity generally resolves itself within a few days.
A disc tear refers to a small tear in the tough outer exterior of a spinal disc, the cushions between the vertebrae that give the spine flexibility and stability.
Also known as slipped disc, disc herniation occurs when the soft-jelly-like center of the spinal disc leaks through a crack in the tough exterior, putting pressure on the spinal nerves.
Disc herniation is commonly caused by lifting, bending, twisting or pulling movements.
Disc degeneration is part of aging and causes the spinal discs to shrink. In some cases, the space between the vertebrae may collapse, resulting in spinal stenosis.
Degenerative spondylolisthesis is a condition in which the natural aging of the spine makes it difficult for the ligaments and joints to keep the vertebrae in the proper position. As a result, the vertebrae slide forward on top of one another, pressing on the spinal nerves.
Spinal stenosis is a condition where the space around the spinal cord becomes narrow, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This occurs when the spinal discs collapse and the spine attempts to stabilize itself by producing bony protrusions known as bone spurs. The growth of these spurs causes the spinal canal to narrow.
Scoliosis is a spinal deformity resulting in a curvature of the spine. The inflammation and stenosis (link to spinal stenosis) from this condition may cause pain in the lower back and legs.
How Is Lower Back Pain Diagnosed?
In order to properly diagnose the cause of your lower back pain, Dr. LaRocca will first take an extensive medical history and history of symptoms and then perform a physical examination. During the exam, he will press on certain spots on the back and may ask you stand in different positions to determine the source of your pain.
Testing may also be recommended to determine a diagnosis including:
- Bone density test
- Bone scan
- Computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Treatment for Lower Back Pain
At New Jersey Back & Back Institute (NJNBI), spinal surgeon Dr. LaRocaa and his team of experienced professionals offer an array of both treatment and non-treatment options as part of our comprehensive care plan. Treatment for lower back pain may include:
- Aspirin or acetaminophen
- Other over the counter medications such as anti-inflammatories like naproxen and ibuprofen to reduce swelling
- Steroids that are injected or taken orally
Combined with certain medication, physical medicine may aid in relieving lower back pain including:
- Back braces
- Chiropractic manipulation
- Exercise regimens or programs
- Physical therapy
- Spinal disc replacement
- Spinal fusion (link to spinal fusion page)