The spine is a complex system of bones, joints, discs, nerves, muscles, and ligaments. There are a number of conditions that can back or spine-related pain, from sudden injuries to degenerative changes. Back and spine pain can range from mild to severe, and may affect your everyday life or participation in certain activities.
New Jersey Regenerative Institute specializes in nonsurgical and minimally invasive treatment options for spine pain. Our goal is to help patients avoid surgery for spine conditions. Our physicians, Dr. Bowen, Dr. Malanga, and Dr. Agesen, are all board certified and have over 20 years of experience with treating patients. Our treatment recommendations are research-backed, and our physicians regularly participate in research studies on the use of regenerative medicine for spine conditions. They also train residents, fellows, and physicians from across the country on the use of regenerative medicine.
Common Spine Conditions
There are several spine conditions that might cause back or neck pain. At New Jersey Regenerative Institute, we often treat the following spine conditions:
- Herniated discs
- Chronic nerve pain and sciatica
- Facet Arthritis
- Sacroiliac joint (SIJ) pain
- Back or neck pain pain due to incorrect posture
- Chronic headaches and migraines related to spine conditions
- Spinal stenosis
There are a number of factors that can contribute to back and spine pain or cause certain conditions. We conduct a thorough examination of each patient to determine the root cause of spine pain, as well as contributing lifestyle factors, before making treatment recommendations.
Our Approach to Treating Spine Pain
Our goal with treating spine pain is to relieve symptoms associated with spine conditions. Our physicians provide comprehensive evaluations and and frequently participate in research on the use of regenerative medicine for spine conditions to make evidence-based recommendations to patients. As regenerative medicine specialists, we provide nonsurgical treatment options for spine conditions.
These are the steps our physicians follow to diagnose and recommend treatments for patients with spine pain.
1. Complete a thorough examination & analysis of patient’s history.
The first step to treating spine pain is confirming the source of the pain. Many spine conditions produce similar symptoms, but some treatments may be more effective for a particular spine condition than others. Because of this, our physicians always conduct an in-depth exam, which may include imaging tests as well as a physical exam to confirm the patient’s diagnosis. We also review the patient’s history, including lifestyle and previous treatment efforts. Patients always work directly with one of our doctors throughout the diagnosis and treatment process, rather than a physician assistant (PA) or nurse practitioner.
2. Review lifestyle changes and activity modifications.
For some patients with spine pain conditions, lifestyle and activity changes can make a big difference. If patients participate in physical therapy, our doctors can work with the patient’s physical therapist to make recommendations. We can also provide a referral to a physical therapist if the patient does not currently participate in physical therapy. We may also recommend modification of certain activities to help with back pain.
Some back and pain conditions are related to poor posture. This is especially common for patients who work at a desk or spend a lot of time on their phones (often referred to as “text neck”). These behaviors tend to make people hunch forward, which can degenerate the spine and lead to chronic upper back and neck pain. This type of forward-head posture can also lead to chronic headaches and migraines. For these patients, we typically recommend the Cervigard neck collar as one of the initial treatment options. This neck brace helps to correct forward-head posture, which typically helps relieve pain and headaches for many of these patients and helps them avoid the need for further treatment.
3. Discuss regenerative medicine options.
If lifestyle modifications do not provide sufficient relief of spine pain symptoms, we may discuss regenerative medicine options. Recommended options are based on the latest research available and may vary based on the patient’s diagnosis and individual needs, but can include the following:
- Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections - PRP injections, using platelets taken from the patient’s own blood, may be helpful in reducing inflammation associated with conditions like herniated discs, SI joint dysfunction, and other issues causing nerve compression.
- Adipose/Fat Therapy - Adipose/fat therapy injections utilize fat harvested from the patient. These injections can provide additional cushioning and support, and may be helpful for degenerative or arthritic spine conditions like SI or facet joint dysfunction.
- Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) - BMAC is a cellular procedure that may also be helpful for patients with spine pain caused by herniated discs or other degenerative conditions.
- Prolozone - Prolozone injections are similar to prolotherapy, but it includes use of ozone to reduce inflammation and improve circulation. This may be helpful for patients with neck pain that causes chronic headaches/migraines.
- Botox Injections - Botox injections can also be helpful for patients who have chronic headaches due to neck pain or primary migraines.
New Jersey Regenerative Institute frequently participates in research studies on the effectiveness of these procedures for orthopedic injuries and are happy to discuss our research findings with patients.
Recovering from Spine Treatment
Recovery can vary depending on the treatment recommendations. Some procedures will require multiple injections, while others only need to be done once. Patients are typically advised to avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications before and after procedures, as they can interfere with the results.
If a rest period is required after your procedure, your doctor will advise when it is safe to return to activity. Activity is often gradually increased as the patient recovers. In some cases, it can take up to 6-12 weeks to feel the full effects of the procedure.
Nonsurgical Spine Pain Treatment in New Jersey
Drs. Bowen, Malanga, and Agesen are board certified physicians with over 20 years of experience in patient care. They frequently participate in research studies on the use of regenerative medicine for spine pain, and base their recommendations on the latest available research. If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, please call our office at 973-998-8309 or request an appointment online.