Modern Migraine MD

Back Pain

Neurologist and Headache Specialist headquartered in New York, NY seeing patients virtually throughout the US

Back Pain

After their first bout with back pain, one in five adults won't improve. Instead, their back pain turns into a chronic and sometimes debilitating problem. At Modern Migraine MD, board-certified neurologist Risa Ravitz, MD, offers holistic treatment for back pain, helping patients get the relief they need to enjoy life again. To schedule an in-person or telemedicine appointment, call the office in the NoMad neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City, Toms River, New Jersey, or Aventura, Florida, or use the online booking feature today.

Back Pain Q & A

What causes back pain?

While you can pull a muscle or tear a ligament during your daily activities or suffer a traumatic injury, damaged nerves cause most cases of back pain.

Narrow, bony spaces in the vertebrae protect your spinal nerves. Being in such a tight space means the nerves can easily get pinched when a spinal condition pushes against them.

The conditions that frequently damage spinal nerves include:

  • Herniated discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Slipped vertebrae (spondylolisthesis)
  • Degenerative scoliosis
  • Thickened ligaments
  • Bone spurs

Your back pain may also arise from a problem in the spinal cord, such as a tumor, infection, or epidural abscess.

What symptoms accompany back pain?

Your back pain may feel like a dull, aching pain or a sharp, stabbing pain. It may come and go, occur only when you move a certain way, or turn into a chronic and constant problem.

When you have back pain, chances are you also have a hard time moving. As you adjust your posture to limit the pain, you put extra stress on the muscles, leading to knots and spasms.

Damaged nerves cause pain and tingling that travel along the nerve, radiating down one or both legs. Sciatica refers to sudden and often debilitating pain that shoots down one leg. That problem occurs with a pinched sciatic nerve.

Instead of shooting pain, nerve damage may cause numbness and muscle weakness in your legs. In severe cases, muscle weakness makes it hard to lift your foot when walking.

How is back pain treated?

The first line of treatment for back pain includes conservative measures such as avoiding activities that trigger your back pain, taking anti-inflammatory medications, bracing, and engaging in physical therapy.

With a focus on holistic care, Dr. Ravitz at Modern Migraine MD may also talk with you about alternative therapies proven to ease back pain. For example, you may want to try yoga, Tai chi, acupuncture, or low-level laser therapy.

If you still have symptoms after several months of conservative therapies, Dr. Ravitz may recommend interventional treatments. Epidural steroid injections, radiofrequency ablation, and medial branch blocks are a few examples.

Interventional treatments target specific spinal nerves. Some treatments reduce nerve inflammation, while others stop the nerve from sending pain messages to your brain.

Though surgery is the final option after you exhaust conservative treatments, sometimes repairing the underlying problem is the best way to alleviate your back pain. 

If you need help with back pain, call Modern Migraine MD or book an appointment online today.