Back pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal problems affecting millions of people worldwide. At NJOSM Clinic in Clifton, New Jersey, orthopedic surgeon Omar Khatib, MD, diagnoses and treats back pain in people of all ages. Using conservative treatments and surgery when necessary, he can minimize your discomfort and improve your quality of life. To schedule an appointment, book online or call the office today.
Back pain refers to any aching, sensitivity, or discomfort that affects your spine. It can occur due to an accident or injury, or as a result of structural abnormalities that affect your vertebrae, muscles, tendons, or ligaments.
Almost everyone experiences back pain on occasion, but if your symptoms persist, get worse, or prevent you from working or exercising, it’s important to seek professional medical guidance. The sooner you receive treatment, the less likely you are to need surgery.
Back pain varies from person to person. Some people experience dull, throbbing pain, and others experience sharp, shock-like, or burning sensations. If your back pain is due to sciatica, you might also experience tingling or numbness that radiates into your legs and feet.
If you regularly experience back pain, it may be due to:
Back pain can also occur due to a physically demanding job or as a result of playing contact sports like football, hockey, or basketball.
Back pain affects people of all ages, genders, and races. Several factors may increase your risk, though, including being overweight, living a primarily sedentary lifestyle, and smoking. You’re also more likely to experience back pain if you’re an athlete or you use your back instead of your legs when lifting.
To diagnose back pain, Dr. Khatib reviews your medical history and asks about your symptoms and lifestyle. Afterward, he assesses your ability to sit, stand, and walk, has you rate your pain on a scale of 1-10, and asks you to perform a series of strength and range-of-motion exercises.
If Dr. Khatib suspects your back pain is due to an underlying medical problem like a fracture or bulging disc, he orders X-rays or an MRI. These diagnostic imaging techniques provide detailed pictures of your bones, joints, and soft tissue structures.
Whenever possible, Dr. Khatib treats back pain using conservative measures and healthy lifestyle changes. Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, losing weight, and quitting smoking can have an immediate impact on your symptoms.
If your back pain persists or gets worse, you might benefit from physical therapy, cortisone injections, or an implanted nerve stimulator. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary. Dr. Khatib typically reserves surgery for structural problems, like a narrowing spine, that doesn’t respond to other treatments.
To learn more about treatment for back pain, schedule an appointment at NJOSM Clinic. Book a consultation online, or call the office to speak with a friendly administrative staff member today.