7 Unexpected Reasons You May be Experiencing Back Pain – Part 1

We all know what our bodies can handle. Most of the time, we can figure out the cause behind different types of discomforts, such as back pain. Maybe it happened when you twisted the wrong way as you picked up your child, or perhaps after that highly contested flag football game. However, some causes behind your back pain can be a mystery. The following list of unusual causes of back pain can once-and-for-all shed some light as to why your back has been hurting.

Weak Abs

You’re able to lift and carry heavy things thanks to the strength and power of your core muscles, which work as a team to help you perform several tasks. However, having weak ab muscles can leave your back muscles fending for themselves. This lack of abdominal strength usually leads to your back muscles being overworked, leaving them tired and achy.

Garden Woes

Chances are you’ve felt a tweak in your back as you shoveled some dirt the wrong way when doing yard work. However, regular yard work (without the sensation of a tweak) can often lead to back pain being felt later on. This is because every time you shovel, rake or sweep, your body is left in the same position for hours at a time. Taking regular breaks and switching your position can be an effective way to avoid these yard-related back problems.

Lengthy Sit-Downs

Sitting down after a long day of activities can be relaxing, but staying in that position for too long can often present problems for your back. Your lumbar discs are separated by jelly-like cushions that compress and retract, letting fluid flow in and out of the disc. Spending hours sitting at a desk, however, keeps your discs under constant compression. This takes the elasticity out of your spine and puts it much closer to injury. To prevent this problem, take breaks from sitting down by stretching and rotating your torso.

We Can Help

If you or a loved one suffers from debilitating back pain, know that we can help. At Total Pain Care, we’ll evaluate your injury or condition to pinpoint its location to administer the best method of relief. Let our board-certified pain management specialists guide you on the journey back to a life of pain-free mobility. Take the first step today by contacting our location in New Jersey for more information.



March Into Madness: Dealing with Basketball Injuries

With brackets filled out (and probably busted) and spring finally in the air, March Madness is officially in full swing. As the action progresses and excitement rattles on, you may get the itch to hit the court as well. Unfortunately, with every screen set and cut to the basket, the chance of injury increases, especially in the high octane sport of basketball where more than 1.5 million injuries occur every year. To ensure you’re playing it safe, we’ve compiled a list of common basketball injuries and how to prevent them.

Stay in the Game

When playing basketball, every muscle in your body is used at full capacity. With that comes an extremely high risk of injury. Some of the most common basketball injuries are:

  • Ankle Sprains – The tearing or stretching of the ankle ligaments, commonly due to rolling the ankle too far inward or outward.
  • Knee Injuries – Knee sprains, twists or ACL injuries, all of which can result from tears in ligaments, joints or meniscus tissue. Usually caused by harsh cuts or awkward landings.
  • Pulled Muscles – When the muscle is stretched beyond limit, twisted awkwardly or not strong enough to handle intense pressure.

Sharp pains, bruising, swelling, sensitivity and uncomfortable ‘pops’ and ‘clicks’ can all be symptoms of these injuries. As always, it’s important to take steps to ensure you stay in the game. This includes:

  • Stretching – Take time to fully stretch
  • Hydration – Helps the body perform better
  • Progressing Gradually – Build up the body’s tolerance through conditioning
  • Wearing Proper Footwear – Correct footwear can aid movements and provide support

Total Relief with Total Pain Care

If you’ve recently experienced an injury on the court or have any debilitating pain in general, know that there is help. At Total Pain Care, our board-certified pain management team can create a customized game plan to get you back in action.

With locations throughout the New Jersey area, it’s never been easier to find total relief. Contact Total Pain Care for an in-depth evaluation and more information today.



The 5 Most Common Running Injuries

Running is one of the most effective ways for you and your loved ones to stay fit and healthy. Maintaining a six-mile per hour pace can potentially burn 557 calories in just one hour. However, for all of its benefits, running can often come with its fair share of injuries with the potential to sideline you for extended periods of time. The best way to avoid these crippling pains is to know and understand them. The following is a list of the five most common running injuries.

Pulled Muscles

A pulled muscle, or muscle strain, is a small tear that often occurs when the muscle fibers are overstretched. This injury is commonly characterized by a popping sensation when it occurs.

Shin Splints

Shin splint pain typically appears on the front or inside of the leg along the shinbone. Runners will often feel the effects of this injury with changes in their workout, such as running longer distances or increasing their running frequency.

Achilles Tendinitis

Repetitive stress to the Achilles tendon, which attaches the calf to the back of the heel, can lead to inflammation and pain. Other risk factors of Achilles tendinitis include tight calf muscles and increasing your running distances.

Runner’s Knee

Runner’s knee is one of the most common overuse injuries. While there are many different causes behind it, it tends to happen when the kneecap is not aligned properly. As you age, the cartilage on the kneecap can deteriorate, which can subsequently lead to pain when walking up stairs, squatting or sitting with bent knees for long periods of time.

Stress Fractures

Pushing your body too hard can often lead to stress fractures which typically occur in the shins or feet. These small cracks in your bones cause pain and discomfort. They can worsen if you continue to push your body before it adapts to higher activity levels.

Let Us Help

You don’t have to live with the pain and discomfort associated with a running injury. It’s time to start the race for a pain-free life. The board-certified pain management specialists at Total Pain Care are ready to evaluate your injury and provide the treatment that best fits your needs. Contact our location in New Jersey for more information today.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Putting Your Wrist on Close Watch

How often are your nights disturbed by a tingling sensation in your arms, hands or fingers? Maybe you’ve also noticed weakness in your hands when trying to grip even the lightest objects? If so, you may be experiencing the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome. This arm and hand condition can be caused by the pinching of a nerve in your wrist. While it can be successfully treated, knowing the conditions, causes and risk factors is important in getting the most out of your treatment.

The Root of the Problem

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the compression of the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the wrist and hand through a small passageway in the wrist known as the carpal tunnel. This nerve is responsible for the sensation on the palm’s side of the hand, excluding the little finger. It’s also the main component in signaling the nerves that provide movement to the muscles at the base of the thumb.

The effects of the condition can be felt when the median nerve is compressed, irritated or crowded. Injuries and conditions, such as wrist fractures and rheumatoid arthritis, can irritate the median nerve through the narrowing of the carpal tunnel, or by inflammation and swelling. In most cases, the cause is unidentifiable but many risk factors exist.

Risk Factors

It’s important to note that the following risk factors are not the direct cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, but they may worsen nerve damage and intensify symptoms such as numbness, tingling and weakness. Risk factors include:

  • Anatomic factors: such as wrist fractures or dislocations
  • Sex: the condition is more common in women due to a smaller carpal tunnel size
  • Nerve-damaging or inflammatory conditions
  • Constant wrist stress due to tool or machinery usage
  • Changes in the body’s fluid balance due to factors such as fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause

Take the First Step

At Total Pain Care, we are devoted to helping you through the journey toward a pain-free life. Take the first step towards recovery with our board-certified pain management specialists today. Let us evaluate your condition by contacting us in New Jersey for more information about our pain management services.



Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Have you been experiencing a chronic, burning pain in an area on your body? Is it usually followed by a discoloration of the skin, inflammation or extreme sensitivity around the area? If so, these may be signs of an increasingly frequent disease called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

CRPS may be a result of an injury to both the central or peripheral nervous systems. Although there is still uncertainty as to how CRPS develops, in most cases it is set off by previous injuries such as sprains, fractures, bruises, etc. Ranked on the McGill pain index as the most severe type of unrelieved pain, CRPS can be extremely limiting to your daily life. It is important to recognize the symptoms associated with CRPS, as taking defensive measures early on can significantly alleviate this disease.

Heed the Warning Signs

Besides the chronic, burning pain, there are other warning signs that may point to CRPS being the culprit of your discomfort. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Tenderness, bruising of the skin
  • Increased temperature around painful areas
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch, vibration and even noise
  • Stiff joints
  • Difficulty/pain in moving the affected body part
  • Sporadic cramps
  • Insomnia/depression
  • Short term memory loss
  • Increased irritability

If you are feeling the symptoms listed above, it could be CRPS. Due to the relatability of the symptoms to other less harmful diseases and problems, CRPS is extremely difficult to diagnose. Yet, if it is indeed CRPS, finding out sooner rather than later can immensely help recovery. That’s why early detection, a detailed and accurate analysis of the symptoms and correct treatment are crucial in keeping CRPS at bay.

Find Support at Total Pain Care

While there is not a definitive cure for CRPS, containment and relief is possible. The board-certified healthcare professionals at Total Pain Care are experts in evaluating your discomfort to create a custom pain management plan to help you find relief. Contact Total Pain Care in New Jersey for the support you deserve.


Pain at Your Heels: The Woes of Plantar Fasciitis

Your feet are an integral part of your everyday life. Whether you’re running the day’s errands or hitting the treadmill to stay fit, you count on your feet to pull through for your own good. For this and countless other reasons, you value your feet and worry when pain or discomfort begins to take a toll on them.

Plantar fasciitis, one of the most common causes of heel pain, can put a strain on your mobility. So, what should you know about this condition? Also, what can you and your loved ones do to keep it at bay? Total Pain Care is here for the information you need.

Know the Problem

Plantar fasciitis is characterized by the pain and inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick strand of tissue located on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone with the toes. The pain is generally felt as a stabbing sensation that tends to happen in the first few steps of the day. While the pain can often decrease or completely go away as the limbs warm up, it may return after extended periods of standing or sitting. Plantar fasciitis can commonly affect overweight people, runners or individuals who wear ill-supported footwear.

Recognizing the Risks

The plantar fascia provides the body with support, but can often tear when the tension placed on it increases dramatically. There are several risk factors that can potentially lead to plantar fasciitis. These include:

  • Age – generally between 40 and 60
  • Certain exercises – activities such as running, ballet and dance aerobics can increase the tension in the plantar fascia
  • Obesity – being overweight can add to the stress placed on the foot
  • Certain jobs – usually the type of work that keeps you in a standing position for long periods

Your Health is Our Priority

The pain associated with plantar fasciitis can potentially leave you out of action for extended periods of time. Don’t put your life on hold. Take the first step towards being pain-free today. At Total Pain Care, we’ll work around the clock to properly evaluate your condition. Our board-certified pain management team can craft a plan of action that best fits your needs. Want to know more? Contact our location in New Jersey for more information.


Kidney Stones: Small Things, Big Problems

Kidney stone formation is a condition that millions of men and women everywhere face daily. Sometimes, small kidney stones can go through your body with no pain at all. Unfortunately, there are instances where symptoms are more severe.

Reading the Signs

Kidney stones are small, rock-sized fragments in the urinary tract that are formed from minerals and “salts” that harden due to insufficient water and types of food eaten, etc. If you’re lucky, very minimal pain will occur. Often though, it can become a hindrance to your daily life. Sufferers can feel nauseous, may be unable to concentrate or be unable to sit, walk or lie comfortably without feeling extreme pain.

A common complaint is a feeling of intense, sharp pain on the side of your back or on your lower stomach. This could very well be a sign that large kidney stones have taken over. Other complaints include:

  • Urinating more frequently
  • Pain while urinating
  • Murky/unusual smelling urine
  • Blood in urine
  • Back/stomach pain that starts and stops frequently with growing intensity
  • Constant pain below the ribs

While a common method to dealing with kidney stones is to wait until they pass, for some the pain might prove to be a hindrance to daily activities. Though proper hydration, over-the-counter medicine, a low sodium diet and an overall healthy lifestyle can relieve pain, it is never a sure bet. For those looking for back pain relief from kidney stones, there is hope.

Assess and Administer

If you or anyone you know is suffering from kidney stone-related back problems, Total Pain Care can evaluate your problem and assemble a care plan that meets your needs. Get in touch with pain care professionals to learn more about the services Total Pain Care provides.