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.
Also referred to as cervical pain, neck pain is a common problem categorized as discomfort in the neck area. Symptoms of neck pain include:
- Difficulty moving the head
- Muscle spasms/tightness
- Pain after keeping the head in one position for too long
Because the neck is flexible and supports the weight of the head, it can be susceptible to injuries or conditions that restrict motion or cause pain. Causes of neck pain include:
- Degenerative disc disease, the deterioration of the joints and vertebral discs of the neck and spine that can compress or impinge (pinch) the nerves in the neck
- Injury from a sport or motor vehicle accident causing soft tissue damage
- Muscle strains may result from issues such as an overuse of the muscles, causing pain in the neck
- Other diseases such as meningitis, arthritis or cancer can also be a source of neck pain
How Is Neck Pain Diagnosed?
After taking a look at your medical history, Dr. LaRocca will perform a physical exam to check for numbness, tenderness and muscle weakness. The patient may also be asked to move his or her head several different ways to determine the location of the pain.
Diagnostic imaging tests may also be performed and they can include:
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan to produce cross-sectional views of the structure of the neck
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to view the soft tissues of the neck including the nerves and spinal cord
- X-rays to reveal sections of the neck where the spinal cord or nerves may be compressed on impinged by abnormalities in the neck
In some instances, additional tests may be necessary, including:
- Blood tests to check for infection or other inflammatory conditions that may be causing the neck pain
- Electromyography (EMG) to measure speed of nerve conduction to see if certain nerves are operating properly
Treatment for Neck Pain
If neck pain persists over two or three weeks, Dr. LaRocca will create a customized treatment plan that may include treatments, such as:
- Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
- Cervical laminoplasty to create more space within the spinal canal
- Laminectomy to relieve pressure in the spinal cord
- Medications (e.g., muscle relaxants)
- Physical therapy to correct posture and strengthen the muscles
- Soft collar for short-term immobilization of the neck to take pressure off the structures in the neck
- Steroid injections near the nerve roots in the spinal cord to relieve pain
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) where electrodes are placed on the skin in the painful areas to relieve pain.