Almost everyone suffers from back and/or neck pain at some point in their lives. Dr. Wallach’s expertise is in helping people relieve this pain. He takes a whole-person approach, addressing structural issues such as compressed nerves, herniated discs, or pinched nerves. And he also educates his patients on potential lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, that can be highly effective at reducing or eliminating the pain they are feeling.
Back and neck pain may be caused by compression or irritation of bundles of nerves in the spine. When it occurs in the lower back it is called lumbar radiculopathy. When it is in the neck, it is called cervical radiculopathy. Between 1 and 5% of people will get this type of back and neck pain. Men get it more often than women.
People who work at jobs that require driving or heavy lifting are most likely to have back and neck pain. Other factors that can raise a person’s risk include tall height, smoking, being overweight, multiple pregnancies, and having a low-activity lifestyle or chronic cough.
Pain may be throbbing, aching, or sharp. There may also be tingling or numbness, which may extend into the legs. Usually the symptoms improve with rest within a week or two.
If you have an appointment to see Dr. Wallach about back or neck pain, he will check your strength and reflexes, and whether you can feel different things such as the touch of something sharp or cold. You may be asked to walk and lift or rotate your legs and feet.
Diagnosing back and neck pain is done mostly by asking patients questions about the pain they experience doing daily activities and how well they are sleeping, and by palpating the affected area. X-rays may be used to rule out other problems, and other tests such as MRI may be used if the symptoms last for more than a month.
It is important to stay as active as possible, although activities may need to be changed. Short rest periods may also be needed. Dr. Wallach can help advise you on exercises to do to strengthen your back and neck, and how stay flexible.