Treat your pain and live a better life…

best-pain-doctor-nycWelcome to my blog about pain. Unfortunately, many people suffer from chronic pain. As a board certified physician in physical medicine and rehabilitation, my specialty is treating these people with both acute and chronic pain.

A majority of my practice is working with patients that are experiencing back and neck pain.

My goal with this blog is to help patients who are experiencing any type of back or neck pain to understand what is causing their pain and discuss options that are available to end their pain. I hope to be able to provide readers with a portal that they can can use to educate themselves and facilitate treatment.

My specialty is my Interventional Spine Skills including cervical and lumbar epidural steroid injections, facet injections, medial branch blocks, Radiofrequency ablation, sympathetic ganglion blocks, spinal cord stimulator trials, sacroiliac joint injection, piriformis muscle block and musculoskeletal joint injection. I also perform many other procedures to alleviate acute and chronic pain.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it and observing people from all over the world reading it.

– Matthew Grimm, M.D.

Category Archives: Sciatica

NYC Doctor For Sciatica

Doctor for Sciatica 2020-2021There are many types of back pains. Some pains come up suddenly while others start slowly and get severe with time. Common medicine can be helpful to treat some types of pains, but others require powerful drugs and surgeries to get back to normal life. At times, it is hard to find the source of the pain, but you can easily identify sciatica.

Sciatica is the pain caused by the irritation of the sciatic nerve. When this nerve irritates, it can cause pain, ranging from light to severe. It is usually caused by a dense nerve. This nerve is in the lower spine and runs from your hips to your feet. The pain might be acute or chronic. It hurts you in your bottom, feet, toes and the back of your legs. You may also feel weakness, numbness, and tingling, and the pain may cause stabbing, burning and shooting reactions. A slip of the herniated disk is the main reason for this pain. It is not a condition, but a symptom.

How Sciatica Works

The slip of the herniated disk in your lumbar (lower) spine is the main reason behind Sciatica. The flat, flexible, round disks of the connective tissue cushion and separate your vertebrae. Either due to injury or years of usage, this disk wears down. As a result, its soft center begins to push out from the hard outer ring.

When a disk herniates, pressure on the sciatic nerves builds, causing severe pain. This nerve is the longest in your body, which starts from lower back and splits into a network to run through your hips, buttocks, legs, and feet. Spinal stenosis can also put pressure on these nerves.

Causes of Sciatica:

Other causes of Sciatica may include:

1.     Spondylolisthesis

Affecting your lower vertebrae, Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition. This condition is really painful. To cure this disease, doctors may use therapeutic and surgical methods. To avoid this condition, you should incorporate proper exercise techniques.

Symptoms:

Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Lower back tenderness
  • Thigh pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Back and leg stiffness
  • Tight hamstring and buttock muscles

2.     Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Doctor for Sciatica New YorkThe lumbar spine is a group of five vertebrae in the lower part of the spine in between the ribs and the pelvis. Lumbar Spinal Stenosis occurs when the spinal cord narrows, compressing the nerves traveling through the lower back into the legs. Commonly, this may affect younger patients due to the development process but may affect people who are 60 and older as a degenerative condition.

The spinal canal usually narrows slowly, over many years or decades. Due to aging, the disk becomes less spongy and results in the loss of disk height, and hardened disk in the spinal canal turns bulgy. Ligaments may become thick and turn into bone spurs. The narrowing of the central canal is due to these conditions. Inflammation and compression of the nerve may cause symptoms.

Symptoms may include:

  • Pain, numbness or weakness in the legs, calves or buttocks
  • Pain radiating into one or both legs and thighs
  • Loss of normal bladder or bowel function (happens less often)
  • Improvement in the condition when lying down or sitting
  • Calves becoming stiff while walking, compelling to take quick breaks

3.     Degenerative Disk Disease

This condition occurs when one or more disks between vertebrae break down or change, leading to pain. This is an age-related disease. Spinal disks work as shock absorbers between vertebrae or bones of your spine and you can bend or twist with the help of these disks as they keep your back flexible. It shows signs of wear and tears when you grow old.

Symptoms:

Common signs of degenerative disk disease may include:

  • It may occur in lower back, buttocks and upper thighs
  • It may come and go
  • It may be nagging or severe
  • It can last for a few days or maybe months
  • Your pain may be worse when you bend, lift or twist and you feel better when you change positions and lie down

Call Dr. Matthew Grimm to Treat Your Sciatica

Degenerative Arthritis, lumbar disk disease, trauma or injury to the lumbar spine are some of the causes of Sciatica. Consulting a doctor and getting proper treatment may give relief quickly. If you need a Pain Management Specialist, call to book an appointment with our Pain Management Doctor. Dr. Mathew Grimm is an expert in treating all kinds of pain.

Matthew Grimm, M.D.
160 E 56th St
11th Floor
New York, NY 10022
646-862-5555

Sciatic Nerve Pain

The irritation arising in the sciatic nerve causes sciatic nerve pain in the lower region. You may feel pain from the lower back (lumbar area) to the back thigh. This nerve is the largest in your body. It starts from nerve roots in the lumbar area from the spinal cord (lower back) and heads up to lower limb, passing through the buttock area. Sciatic nerve pain is sometimes referred to as Radiculopathy.

Sciatic nerve pain

Common Causes of Sciatic Nerve Pain:

Sciatica is the result of disc herniation in the lumbar area. Symptoms may also occur when inflammation and irritation are caused to the sciatic nerve. An abnormal vertebral disc resulting in irritation is also called Radiculopathy. Other causes of sciatic nerve pain are irritation of nerve due to adjacent bone, muscle, tumor, infections around or in the lumbar spine, internal bleeding, injury, etc. Women are prone to sciatic pain when they are pregnant.

Diagnosis for Sciatic Nerve Pain:

Doctors will check your reflexes and muscle strength during physical exams. They might ask you to walk on your toes or heels, to lift your leg one at a time and all those activities that can increase pain for examining the cause thoroughly.

Tests for Sciatic Nerve Pain:

After that, one of our doctors will conduct some tests to check the condition of your pain. With these tests, we will be able to know if there are any abnormalities. These tests will also locate the area of pain. In some conditions of herniated disks or bone spurs, you might not feel symptoms but tests will reveal your condition. We will only suggest those tests if your pain is severe or you are not recovering from the pain from weeks.

1.     X-ray

Maybe your bone is overgrowing and causing you pain. An X-ray of your spine may reveal that. When the bone overgrows or spurs, it might press up the nerve, causing you pain and numbness.

2.     MRI

With MRI, doctors produce cross-section images of your spine with the use of powerful magnets and radio waves. MRI can produce proper images of a herniated disk, soft tissues, and bones. You have to lie down on a table that moves inside the MRI machine.

3.     CT Scan

Doctors inject a contrast dye inside your spinal canal when they use a CT scan to create an image of the spine. This procedure is called myelogram. This dye circulates around your spinal cord and nerves and highlights in white when doctors scan.

4.     Electromyography (EMG)

EMG measures the electrical impulses which your nerve and muscle responses produce. With this test, nerve compression due to narrowing of your spinal canal or slipped disk can be confirmed.

Treatment of Sciatic Nerve Pain

When you are suffering from sciatic nerve pain, your doctor can suggest the following types of treatments:

1.     Medications

These are the types of medications your doctor may provide when you are having sciatic nerve pain:

  • Anti-Inflammatory medications
  • Narcotics
  • Muscle Relaxants
  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Tricycle anti-depressants

2.     Physical Therapy

Doctors may also suggest therapies, which can help you by improving your:

  • Flexibility
  • Core stability for back support
  • Posture
  • Muscle strength

Sciatic nerve pain - spinal diagram nerves3.     Steroid Injections

When the condition is worse and you are not recovering with medications and therapies, doctors then recommend corticosteroid injections. Doctors give these injections directly into the area that involves nerve root. These injections help in reducing pain and suppressing inflammation. The effects of these injections can wear off in a few months. Injecting too frequently can cause side effects.

4.     Surgery

When the compression of nerve leads to bowel or bladder loss, weakness, or when your pain is getting severe and not improving with other treatments, the doctor recommends surgeries. Surgeons remove the overgrown bone or bone spur or remove a herniated disk that is pressing the nerve.

5.     Other Treatments

Other treatments like cold and hot packs on the area, stretching and taking over-the-counter medications may also help in the treatment of the sciatic nerve pain.

Consult Dr. Matthew Grimm to Treat Your Sciatic Nerve Pain

Sciatic nerve pain may affect daily activities and may increase in severity over time. An early visit to the doctor may result in a better treatment. If you need a Pain Management Specialist, give us a call at 646-862-5555 or book an appointment with our Pain Management Doctor

Matthew Grimm, M.D.
160 E 56th St
11th Floor
New York, NY 10022
646-862-5555

Sciatica: Definition, Causes & Treatments

Sciatica is an incredibly common, but mostly misunderstood, condition. Some estimates show that up to 40% of the population will deal with some kind of sciatic pain. That risk gets even higher the older we get. But what exactly is sciatica? What causes it? And what can be done to treat sciatica?

What Exactly is Sciatica?

sciatica-definition-causes-treatments-info-01Sciatica is the name for pain in the sciatic nerve. Due to the size, shape, and location of the sciatic nerve, it is prone to pinching and irritation. This causes pain that can radiate down the lower back, hip, knee, ankle, and foot. However, sciatica is commonly used as a catch-all term for lower back pain. Not all low back pain is caused by the sciatic nerve.

A few telltale signs of sciatica are lower back pain or pain radiating to the to the ankle, knee, or hip. This pain is usually exacerbated by bending at the lower back, twisting, coughing, or lifting with the back. If this sounds like you, make an appointment with Dr. Grimm so that you can find out for sure.

What Causes Sciatica?

what-causes-sciatica-02Sciatica can be caused by any number of underlying problems. Common problems include bulging or herniated vertebral discs, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis. Additionally, there are a number of systemic problems that can lead to compression of the sciatic nerve. A growth, such as a hematoma, can potentially put pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause sciatic pain radiating down through the lower back and leg.

After a traumatic event, such as a car accident, shifting structures in one’s body can add additional pressure and cause sciatica. It is also possible for sciatica to be caused by poor body mechanics and ergonomics. Sitting in a tight position for too long can put pressure on the sciatic nerve. One important concept to understand about sciatica is that pain can be referred. This means that pain will be felt in one location, but the actual site of the cons of the pain is another. It is essential to know the underlying cause of your sciatica in order to treat it effectively.

How Sciatica is Treated

treatment-options-for-sciatica-positive-prognosis-03Thankfully, sciatica is a very treatable condition. The exact treatment pursued will depend on the severity of the pain, the cause of the pain, and the exact location the pain originates from. For some people, sciatica can be treated simply through stretches and physical therapy treatments. For others, surgical intervention may be required.

As a general rule of thumb, we like to begin with the least invasive possible treatment and work our way through treatment alternatives. This will allow us to find the treatment for you that allows for a quick and painless recovery. Another commonly used treatment intervention is a prescribed painkiller. This medication will bring down the swelling that may be causing the nerve to be pinched and will help with current pain as well. In the meantime, many have found that using ice packs and regular physical exercise keeps sciatic pain to a minimum. In addition, any environmental causes of swelling or pinching of the nerve should be identified and eliminated.

It should be noted that the majority of people who deal with sciatica do not need to have surgery to eliminate their pain. The sooner treatments begin, the more effective they are and the more likely it is that a less invasive treatment will be effective.

Are you dealing with sciatica? Come make an appointment with Dr. Grimm to develop a treatment plan for you.

Matthew Grimm, M.D.
West Side:
343 West 58th Street
Suite 11
New York, NY 10019

East Side:
160 E 56th St
11th Floor
New York, NY 10022
646-862-5555

What is Sciatica?

The simple answer to the above raised question is: back pain in the sciatic nerve. However, this raises additional questions. How can you identify sciatica? How can sciatica be treated? And what can be done to relieve sciatic pain?

How can you Identify Sciatica?

sciatic-nerve-pain-best-pain-doctor-nyc-03Thankfully, sciatica can be fairly easily self-diagnosed. Sciatica can be recognized by back pain along the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs along the lower end of the leg, from the hip down. Whenever pain is consistently experienced in the hip, buttocks, and posterior leg, sciatica is potential. The sensation is not necessarily strictly one of pain. It may also demonstrate numbness, tingling, or generalized weakness. However, not all pain in the lower back or upper leg is caused by the sciatic nerve. One tell tale signs of sciatic nerve pain is a radiating sensation that ranges from the upper leg to the foot. There are many reasons sciatica may develop, including overexertion, poor posture, or injury. Regardless of the cause of sciatica, many times it can be treated without the use of surgery. Typical treatments to relieve pain include gentle stretches, regular exercise, and proper ergonomic positioning when seated for an extended period of time. Any activity that puts excessive strain or pressure on the lower back or upper leg can see erratically cause sciatica. If you feel you have sciatica, talk to your doctor. They will be able to perform an examination that will provide a definite answer, as well as offering their expert opinion for treatment and prognosis.

How can Sciatica be Treated?

treatment-sciatica-medical-information-02Sciatica can be treated in a number of ways. Common treatments for sciatica include stretching, exercise, and education on ergonomics and body mechanics to improve posture when sitting, standing, or lifting. Any activity that can put additional pressure on the sciatic nerve can theoretically cause sciatic pain. Therefore, it is essential to understand the benefit of early intervention. Additionally, treatment may include use of medications, procedures such as nerve root blocks or numbing of the sciatic nerve, or- in extreme cases- surgery. However, typically sciatic pain can be relieved without invasive means.

What can be Done to Relieve Sciatic Pain?

top-nyc-doctor-for-Sciatica-treatment-info-01Once sciatic pain has been relieved, the primary stuff is maintaining pain relief. In instances where sciatic nerve pain was caused by injury, avoiding activities that can cause repeat injuries is essential. One common technique to avoid such injuries is the use of good ergonomic principles. For example, lifting with the legs as opposed to the back can decrease the risk of nerve impingement and sciatic pain. Alternatively, sciatica pain can come from something as simple as having a large wallet in one’s back pocket. Once the pain has subsided, maintenance includes nothing but removing the wallet in question. Occasionally, pregnant women may experience sciatic pain. Obviously, eventually this will go away once the baby is born. However, good ergonomic principle should still be maintained during pregnancy to ensure comfort and limit pain.

 

Are you experiencing sciatic pain? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Grimm to discuss the cause and possible treatments today.