Spine Overview

Consisting of 33 stacked bones (called vertebrae), the spinal column provides the main support for the body. It allows you to stand upright, bend, and twist, while protecting your spinal cord from injury. Strong bones and muscles, flexible tendons and ligaments, and sensitive nerves contribute to a healthy spine. However, if any spinal structures are affected by strain, injury, or disease, you feel pain.

The spine is divided into five regions:

Cervical Region – Includes seven vertebrae (C1 to C7). The first two vertebra form the joint that connects the spine to the skull, allowing the head to swivel and nod.

Thoracic Region – Located in the mid-back, these 12 vertebrae (T1 to T12) are attachment points for the ribcage.

Lumbar Region – These five vertebrae (L1 to L5), known as the lower back, are the main weight-bearing section of the spinal column.

Sacral region – Five fused vertebrae (S1 to S5), that form a solid mass of bone called the sacrum – the attachment point for your pelvis.

Coccygeal Region – Commonly called the tailbone, these four small vertebrae might be fused or separate. Together they form the coccyx, which helps support the body when you’re sitting. The coccyx is also an attachment point for various muscles, tendons and ligaments.

 

 

Here are common neck, back and spinal conditions we treat at NJ Pain Care Specialists:

Cervical Radiculopath

What is Cervical Radiculopathy?

Because nerve roots in the cervical spine travel into and through the shoulders, an irritation or injury in cervical spine can cause symptoms in the shoulders, arms and hands.

What Causes Cervical Radiculopathy?

Conditions can arise from a variety of problems with the bones and tissues of the cervical spinal column:

  • Herniated Disc – A rupture in the fibrous outer wall of a vertebral disc, which allows the soft nucleus of the disc to bulge outward and press painfully against a nerve root.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease – When a spinal disc weakens, vertebral bones above and below the disc can shift out of position, touch each other and pinch nearby nerve roots.
  • Spinal Stenosis – When spinal bones, discs or joints degenerate, bony spurs can form and push into the spinal canal. The result can be harmful pressure against the spinal cord or nerve roots.

If you are experiencing symptoms of neck, back or spine pain, contact us at New Jersey Pain Care Specialists to discuss your concerns and any treatments you may have already tried. Dr. Bram will give you the time and attention that is necessary to properly understand and accurately diagnose your condition, and to recommend the most advanced, non-invasive, effective and efficient treatment to eliminate or relieve your pain.

 

 

Facet Joint Syndrome

What is Facet Joint Syndrome?

Facet joints are lined with cartilage and surrounded by a lubricating capsule that enables the vertebrae to twist and bend. Facet Joint Syndrome is a deterioration that can occur two ways:

  • Joint Damage – When the facet joints become damaged through everyday wear and tear, an injury to your neck or back, or degeneration of intervertebral discs.
  • Cartilage Loss – When the cartilage covering the stressed facet joints wears away, they become swollen and stiff. If the bones rub directly against each other, it causes bone spurs to grow along the edges of the joints and cause sharp pain.

What are Symptoms of Cervical Facet Joint Syndrome?

The pain varies depending on which region of the spine is damaged. Pain related to the cervical, or upper spine, is felt in the neck, shoulders, and upper or middle back; plus possible headaches.

What are Symptoms of Lumbar Facet Joint Syndrome?

Lumbar, or lower spine, pain affects the lower back, buttocks and back side of the thigh.

What are Possible Treatments for Facet Joint Syndrome?

Initially, conservative care can include rest, ice, heat, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy. If pain persists, facet joint blocks can be administered by a professional to diagnose facet joint pain, and to treat it as well.

If you are experiencing symptoms of facet joint syndrome, contact us at New Jersey Pain Care Specialists to discuss your concerns and any treatments you may have already tried. Dr. Bram will give you the time and attention that is necessary to properly understand and accurately diagnose your condition, and to recommend the most advanced, non-invasive, effective and efficient treatment to eliminate or relieve your pain.

 

 

Herniated Disc

What is a Herniated Disc?

This common injury can affect any part of the spine, causing severe pain and other problems in the arms or legs. Each flexible vertebral disc has a soft inner nucleus surrounded by a fibrous outer wall. A herniated disc occurs when the nucleus pushes through the outer wall and a large bulge presses against adjacent nerve roots.

What Causes a Herniated Disc?

This age-related degeneration of the spinal disc can come from normal wear and tear on the spine, or from a traumatic injury, or lifting something heavy.

What are Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?

Some herniated discs cause no symptoms, and you might not realize the disc is damaged. But a severely herniated disc can cause intense pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness. Most occur in the lower back, causing symptoms in the buttocks, legs and feet. Some herniated discs occur in the neck, causing symptoms in the shoulders, arms and hands.

What are Possible Treatments for a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc can be treated with a minimally-invasive Epidural Steroid Injection – a 10-15-minute procedure that bathes the irritated nerve roots in a steroid/anesthetic medication that provides significant relief from inflammation and pain.

If you are experiencing symptoms of a herniated disc, contact us at New Jersey Pain Care Specialists to discuss your concerns and any treatments you may have already tried. Dr. Bram will give you the time and attention that is necessary to properly understand and accurately diagnose your condition, and to recommend the most advanced, non-invasive, effective and efficient treatment to eliminate or relieve your pain.

 

 

Lumbar Radiculopathy/Sciatica

What is Lumbar Radiculopathy/Sciatica?

Irritation or compression of one or more nerve roots in the lumbar spine can cause associated leg pain called lumbar radiculopathy, or sciatica.

What are Causes of Lumbar Radiculopathy/Sciatica?

Sciatica can arise from a variety of problems with the bones and tissues of the cervical spinal column:

  • Herniated Disc – A rupture in the fibrous outer wall of a vertebral disc, which allows the soft nucleus of the disc to bulge outward and press painfully against a nerve root.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease – When a spinal disc weakens, vertebral bones above and below the disc can shift out of position, touch each other and pinch nearby nerve roots.
  • Spinal Stenosis – When spinal bones, discs or joints degenerate, bony spurs can form and push into the spinal canal. The result can be harmful pressure against the spinal cord or nerve roots

What are Symptoms of Lumbar Radiculopathy/Sciatica?

Nerve root injury may occur at any of the five vertebrae in the lumbar spine, or at the upper level of the sacrum. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, symptoms can include pain in the thigh, knee, calf or foot, weakness, numbness and tingling.

What are Possible Treatments for Lumbar Radiculopathy/Sciatica?

Lumbar Radiculopathy/Sciatica can be treated with a minimally-invasive Epidural Steroid Injection – a 10-15-minute procedure that bathes the irritated nerve roots in a steroid/anesthetic medication that provides significant relief from inflammation and pain.

If you are experiencing symptoms of sciatica, contact us at New Jersey Pain Care Specialists to discuss your concerns and any treatments you may have already tried. Dr. Bram will give you the time and attention that is necessary to properly understand and accurately diagnose your condition, and to recommend the most advanced, non-invasive, effective and efficient treatment to eliminate or relieve your pain.

 

 

Spinal Stenosis

What is Spinal Stenosis?

Open spaces in the spinal column act as passageways for the spinal cord and spinal nerves. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of these openings, or an intrusion into them. This can create a compression of the nerves, interfering with nerve function and causing pain in the spine or in other parts of the body.

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

Usually by an excess growth of bone around the spinal nerves, often resulting from osteoarthritis. It can also result from a fracture or dislocation of the vertebral bone. Stenosis can also be caused by soft tissue intruding into the spine’s open spaces. And in some cases, a person is born with a small spinal canal with insufficient room for the spinal nerves.

What are Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?

Depending on the location and severity of the problem, spinal stenosis can cause pain, weakness, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs. If located in the lower back, it often causes sciatica, a sensation of burning pain that can travel through the buttocks, down the legs and into the feet. In some cases, spinal stenosis can cause problems with bladder and bowel control.

What are Possible Treatments for Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis condition can be treated with a minimally-invasive Epidural Steroid Injection – a 10-15-minute procedure that bathes the irritated nerve roots in a steroid/anesthetic medication that provides significant relief from inflammation and pain.

If you are experiencing symptoms of spinal stenosis, contact us at New Jersey Pain Care Specialists to discuss your concerns and any treatments you may have already tried. Dr. Bram will give you the time and attention that is necessary to properly understand and accurately diagnose your condition, and to recommend the most advanced, non-invasive, effective and efficient treatment to eliminate or relieve your pain.

 

 

Spondylolisthesis

What is Spondylolisthesis?

When a lumbar vertebra slips out of place, it slides forward, distorting the shape of your spine, and compressing the nerves in the spinal canal. The nerves that exit the open spaces on the sides of your vertebrae may also be compressed. This compression can cause pain and other problems.

What Causes Spondylolisthesis?

In children, spondylolisthesis is often due to a spinal birth defect. In adults, arthritis and the loss of disc elasticity with age are the most common causes. Some people develop spondylolysis from overuse – a stress fracture of the vertebral bone. Or, less commonly, a sudden broken vertebra. Spondylolisthesis can also result from diseases or tumors that weaken the spine.

What are Symptoms of Spondylolisthesis?

Symptoms vary. Many people have none. Others may experience pain in the lower back, hamstring spasms, or pain that spreads down the leg to the foot. This can be accompanied by foot numbness and tingling.

What are Possible Treatments for Spondylolisthesis?

Depending on the severity of your condition. You may benefit from rest, pain-relieving medications, a back brace, and physical therapy. If those methods are not successful, you may benefit from minimally-invasive Epidural Steroid Injection – a 10-15-minute procedure that bathes the irritated nerve roots in a steroid/anesthetic medication that provides significant relief from inflammation and pain

If you are experiencing symptoms of spondylolisthesis, contact us at New Jersey Pain Care Specialists to discuss your concerns and any treatments you may have already tried. Dr. Bram will give you the time and attention that is necessary to properly understand and accurately diagnose your condition, and to recommend the most advanced, non-invasive, effective and efficient treatment to eliminate or relieve your pain.

 

 

Whiplash

What is Whiplash?

A common neck injury that occurs when your neck jerks back and forth quickly and violently, and your spine bends past its normal range of motion. This can injure the vertebrae of your cervical spine and damage the supporting ligaments and muscles in your neck.

What Causes Whiplash?

Whiplash can be caused by any sudden, herky-jerky movement of your head. A rear-end automobile collision, a rollercoaster ride, or hard contact sports like football or hockey. As the spine is thrown forward and back, or side to side, the tendons and muscles around the spine become torn and damaged. It can also be caused by physical abuse, such as violent shaking by the shoulders.

What are Symptoms of Whiplash?

You may feel pain and stiffness in your neck right after your injury, or it may not flare up for days. You may also feel soreness in your shoulders, back and arms. You may experience headaches and dizziness, or difficulties with hearing, vision or memory. Be aware that any of these symptoms can become chronic problems, so seek medical care as quickly as possible.

What are Possible Treatments for Whiplash?

Treatment options may include rest, pain-relieving medications, a soft cervical collar, and injections – a minimally-invasive Epidural Steroid Injection bathes the irritated nerve roots in a steroid/anesthetic medication that provides significant relief.

If you are experiencing symptoms of whiplash, contact us at New Jersey Pain Care Specialists to discuss your concerns and any treatments you may have already tried. Dr. Bram will give you the time and attention that is necessary to properly understand and accurately diagnose your condition, and to recommend the most advanced, non-invasive, effective and efficient treatment to eliminate or relieve your pain.