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What is Back Pain?

To those of you seeking back pain treatment in NYC, know that you are not alone. An unknown fact is that more than 75% of people experience persistent or intermittent back pain. By “back pain” we are referring to any area of the back rather than only a specific location. Commonly, people report pain in the lower area of the back or the lumbar section.

Part of understanding what back pain consists of is knowing the difference between two different kinds of pain that are commonly experience - chronic and acute:

  • Chronic pain is typically when the pain is recurrent or exists for more than 3 months at a time. This type of pain often will increase over time and slowly; it is not a severe or sharp pain for the most part.
  • Acute pain, however, is generally severe and occurs suddenly. This type of pain often lessens or goes away within a few weeks and is not considered persistent, like chronic pain.

Both forms of back pain can be a hindrance to your usual lifestyle, physical activity, and wellbeing.

Sources of Back Pain

Acute back pain can result from strain or sprain of the spinal musculature and often resolves with time and limited non-operative treatment. Other common conditions we see that result in back pain, here are the top culprits:

Back Pain Treatment NYC

When to Visit Your Doctor

As an expert in back pain treatment in NYC, rest assured that any form or level of pain you are experiencing is worth treating to Dr. Stieber. From minor injuries or discomfort, to severe injuries or physical incapacitation, he’s seen it all.

Even the simplest activity or seemingly small injury can cause extreme pain, whereas larger injuries could potentially cause less apparent pain. In both scenarios, we’d recommend a consultation with a doctor experienced in back pain.

Below are several back pain scenarios that would warrant a visit or call to your doctor:

  • Pain that is persistent, severe, or sudden
  • Pain resulting from an injury like an accident or fall
  • Pain accompanied by a fever
  • Pain that is accompanied by weakness or loss of sensation in your lower extremities
  • Pain that makes its way down your extremities
  • Pain in conjunction with bowel or bladder issues
  • Loss of sensation or tingling in your genital or buttocks area

Getting a Diagnosis

Getting an accurate diagnosis from a credentialed and experienced doctor is the first step to addressing and alleviating back pain, whether it’s acute or chronic pain you’re experiencing.

When you schedule a consultation with Dr. Stieber, he will perform a thorough examination of your back, taking into consideration all of the details you will have given him about your situation and symptoms. At this time, he will also want to determine your present pain levels by asking you to perform a few simple actions, such as walking, sitting, and standing.

Often the initial examination is enough to determine what route to take in addressing the back pain and the source of it. There are, however, cases in which Dr. Stieber will recommend additional testing to further pinpoint the source of your symptoms.

The tests that will typically be recommended are:

Back Pain Treatment NYC

Blood Tests

There are times when Dr. Stieber may recommend that patients get blood testing done. While this is not very common, there are some scenarios where back pain can be caused by or related to an infection within the body. A blood test would confirm it either way.

Imaging Tests

Imaging tests (radiology studies) are an important part of diagnosis and treatment planning. These tests include X-ray, MRI, or CT scans—among others. While various x-rays and CT (computerized tomography) studies visualize the bones and skeleton, MRI is able to also visualize the soft tissues such as the intervertebral discs, ligaments, cartilage, joints, and neurologic structures including the spinal cord and nerve roots. In most cases, multiple imaging modalities are necessary to make the right diagnosis. The information gathered from these tests will assist Dr. Stieber in determining the source of your back pain and painting a better picture of what is going on internally.

Nerve Studies

When spinal stenosis or nerve compression are thought to be a source of the back pain one is experiencing, Dr. Stieber may recommend that nerve studies are done. Nerve studies such as electromyelogram (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) can be helpful tools to evaluate the location and type of nerve injury or disease.

Nuclear Medicine Scans

If Dr. Stieber suspects that your back pain may be caused by a bone lesion or compression fracture, he may recommend a bone scan or other nuclear medicine study. These specialized studies may also be ordered to evaluate other less common diagnoses.

Forms of Treatment

After you’ve had an examination with Dr. Stieber and have done any additional testing he has recommended, you will receive his professional diagnosis. He will work with you to create a customized plan for your back pain treatment in NYC, with the sole intention of giving you the optimal amount of relief for the pain you are experiencing.

The personalized treatment plan Dr. Stieber provides to you will take a few things into account - the duration and severity of your symptoms, as well as the underlying cause(s) of your back pain that was determined through examination and/or testing.

Most of our NYC back pain patients get the best results from a mix of personalized treatment approaches. Typically, both physical therapy and medication will be involved. In the rare instance that Dr. Stieber concludes that surgery is your best treatment option, he will discuss that approach with you.

Back Pain Treatment NYC

Patient Testimonial

"Dr. Stieber performed a MIS TLIF at L4 / L5 in January 2015. At a year and a half, I am pain free and doing well. The man is a life saver. I have and will continue to recommend him to anyone experiencing back pain."

J.F.

Physical Therapy

One of Dr. Stieber’s top recommendations in the majority of his personalized back pain treatment plans is physical therapy. During physical therapy, the patient is instructed on how to strengthen muscles, improve posture, and increase flexibility. This form of treatment is done by experts who may also utilize a variety of modalities, including heat treatment, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound to reduce one’s pain.

Medication

Depending upon your personalized treatment plan from Dr. Stieber, he will likely recommend that you take specific medications to assist in your healing process and to address the pain you are experiencing.

Medication for back pain can come in many forms, such as:

  • Topical pain relievers
  • Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Medications (NSAIDs)
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Narcotics
  • Oral Steroids

Surgery

While there are some cases that warrant surgery, Dr. Stieber is typically able to treat most of his back pain patients without surgery.

If surgery is recommended, Dr. Stieber will discuss that treatment option with you in detail. As a leader in and advocate for minimally invasive back surgery, he uses advanced techniques and expertise when restoring mobility to the back.

Why Choose Dr. Stieber?

As one of the top spine surgeons in New York, Dr. Jonathan Stieber is known for excellence. He is a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon with 15 years of experience who brings an exceptional level of patient care to his work. As a leader and authority in his field, Dr. Stieber is an Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU School of Medicine and a Director of the Spine Center at OrthoManhattan. He has been honored by being named a Castle Connolly Top Doctor for 2022 and a New York Magazine Best Doctor for 2021. For more information on back pain treatment in NYC please contact us.

Back Pain Treatment NYC

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Dear Patients:

Our patients' health and safety is our number one priority. Our office continues to be open for all email, telephone, and online inquiries. You can call us at 646-916-3962 or contact us via email to schedule your virtual telemedicine or in-person visit. Our doctors will be holding regular office hours for virtual video consultations and follow-up visits that permit you to stay in the comfort of your own home, utilizing your computer, tablet, or mobile device.

Additionally, we will continue to see select patients in the office for consultation and follow-up visits, including preoperative and postoperative appointments. Our doctors continue to perform procedures in our private, free-standing surgery center that offers an array of outpatient surgical services to treat spinal issues such as acute back pain, disc herniations, sciatica, and pinched nerves in the back or neck. We are also able to offer clean and efficient on-site x-ray capabilities in our office.

Please know that we join our community in taking all advised precautions* to limit the spread of the Coronavirus and ensure the safety of patients and staff.

Call today to schedule a consultation and explore your options with the Spine Center at OrthoManhattan.

The following precautionary measures have been established to ensure the safest environment possible:

  • All patients are screened both prior to and on the day of their office appointment. Patients will not be permitted in the office and will be asked to reschedule their appointment if:
    • You or anyone in your household are experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, congestion, runny nose, or shortness of breath.
    • You have been in contact with anybody who has tested positive for coronavirus or have traveled (both domestically and internationally) within the last 14 days.
  • We have updated our patient and visitor policies:
    • Only a limited number of patients will be permitted on the office hour schedule.
    • No additional visitors or family members are allowed to accompany the patient during their office visit, unless the patient is in need of an aide or a translator
    • Infants, children, and adolescents are asked to stay home and will not be permitted to accompany the patient to their appointment.

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