Pain Physicians NY (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx NYC) is one of the first practices in New York to offer an alternative treatment for back pain and Osteoarthritis. Depending on the severity of the pain we might offer Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections and Radiofrequency Ablation procedure.
When the joints of the body lose their flexibility and begin to cause pain and problems moving the joint, it could be osteoarthritis (OA). It is among the most common conditions that affect the joints worldwide and is most prevalent among the elderly and even middle-aged people. OA can affect any joint in the body, but the joints which are most often used as the neck, knees, lower back and hips are affected. Nevertheless, even the tiny joints such as those in the fingers can also become affected.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
At each joint, the ends of either bone are covered by cartilage which is a hard substance that allows the bones to glide over each other. Tendons and ligaments can glide smoothly over the cartilage, allowing the joint to move freely and smoothly. With osteoarthritis, however, the cartilage either becomes damaged or gradually wears off, leaving the bone exposed.
The exposed bone is rougher and does not glide over the other bone, instead, it scratches the other bone and causes it to lose shape. As this ‘bone grinding’ continues, the bones lose shape and form spurs, which are protruding areas of the bone that scratch the ligaments and tendons surrounding them. In some cases, bits of bone may even break off and begin to float within the joint.
This interruption of normal joint movement causes pain whenever the joint is moved and the pain keeps increasing with continued damage. The irritation on the ligaments and tendons, on the other hand, leads to inflammation and swelling, further making the joint difficult to move. When this degeneration of the joints occurs in the pelvis, it may cause pain around the lower back.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Pain and discomfort are the most evident symptoms of OA, and the pain will radiate from the affected joint. In the case of OA occurring in the lower back, the pain will originate from the affected area and spread outwards. Since the spine is responsible for providing sensation to the legs, the pain can extend down the legs. This pain will usually seem to shoot downwards after certain movements that involve the pelvis and subside while resting.
As the condition worsens, OA can eventually lead to disability especially after the formation of bone spurs. These spurs can completely hinder movement and cause the individual to be disabled. This causes inflammation and pain often accompanied also with numbness of the affected leg, due to the fact that the sciatic nerve becomes pinched, this condition known as Sciatica.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Imaging technology is usually used to identify the affected area and determine the extent of damage since there are various problems that could lead to back pain. Some doctors may still be able to tell whether it is OA from the symptoms, but X-ray scans are the most reliable.
- Advanced physical therapy is usually recommended during the early stages of osteoarthritis, including physical exercises to strengthen your muscles and avoiding heavy loads that strain your joints.
- Medication may follow when the person is experiencing pain, but this will only be a supportive measure that allows them to participate in physical exercises.
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections
- Nerve Block
- Radiofrequency ablation (rhizotomy)
Radiofrequency Neurotomy of the Lumbar Facets
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In the worst cases, like with bone spurs, surgery may be needed to repair or replace the joint entirely.
Surgical therapy is the last treatment option when other methods have failed to relieve and control the signs and symptoms of Osteoarthritis.
The most advanced pain management center, Brooklyn back pain management doctors and specialists at Pain Physicians NY offer a unique, individualized approach. We are using the most effective back pain management options utilizing the latest technologies available in the USA.
We always consider non-invasive treatment options first before we turn to more invasive procedures like minimally invasive surgery.