What causes back pain?

The back and spine consist of an intricate structure of nerves, bones, muscles, and discs. The spine also provides structure and support for bending and twisting movements. A disruption to any of these systems can result in back pain. Acute back injuries, overuse injuries, and medical conditions are to blame for most cases of back pain. The most common causes of back pain include:

How do you diagnose the cause of back pain?

Dr. Natanzi first asks questions about your health and the circumstances surrounding your back pain. He then assesses your back mechanics with a series of physical movements.

Imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs give Dr. Natanzi an objective information about your back. He may also choose to use electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction tests if he suspects nerve damage.

How do you treat back pain?

After diagnosing the cause of your back pain, Dr. Natanzi recommends the appropriate treatment. He may try to reduce the load on your back with exercise, bracing, and weight loss.

Stem cell injections, or platelet-rich plasma, into the facet points provide relief for many people. Instead of steroid injections or surgery, the stem cells encourage damage repair and reduce inflammation. Dr. Natanzi only recommends surgery if you have a severe compression injury or you’ve exhausted alternative options.

How do I prevent back pain?​

To keep your back strong and healthy, try the following strategies:

Exercise: Dr. Natanzi provides exercises to strengthen the core and stretches to enhance flexibility in the hips and legs. A strong core supports the entire back, while loosened hips bring your body into proper alignment.

Proper posture and ergonomics: Poor posture and lifting techniques put undue stress on your back. When you adjust your workspace for proper ergonomics and hold yourself in proper alignment, you have fewer chances of straining and injuring your back.

Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight overloads your back. If you can drop surplus weight and keep it off, you may be able to prevent further instances of back pain.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis, most commonly rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the joints. Common symptoms of arthritis include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness, especially after rest
  • Decreased motion
  • Trouble gripping or using the hands

Over time, arthritis can become more severe and debilitating, leading to permanent joint changes and visible damage, such as knobby finger joints.

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common types of arthritis. A degenerative form of arthritis, osteoarthritis results from years of “wear and tear” on the joints. Obesity, injury, and age can lead to the onset of osteoarthritis. Cartilage and connective tissue wear away, causing adjacent bones to rub against one another. The joints that bear the most weight and usually suffer the most damage are the:

  • Fingers
  • Knee
  • Hips
  • Lower back
  • Neck

​As the cartilage between the bone deteriorates, the bones wear away and sometimes chip off, causing bone spurs.

If you already have an arthritis diagnosis, you can make an appointment with Dr. Natanzi if traditional therapies for arthritis aren’t providing any relief. Prompt diagnosis and treatment help you appropriately manage your condition and prevent it from progressing.

What treatment options are available for arthritis?

You can usually manage mild forms of arthritis with over-the-counter pain relievers, hot and cold therapy, and physical activity. As arthritis becomes severe, you may need progressive treatments.

At the Regenerative Sports and Spine Institute, Dr. Natanzi uses regenerative medicine to treat osteoarthritis. This painless alternative to drugs and surgery helps your body repair itself.

Regenerative medicine involves stem cells, or platelets, from your own body. Dr. Natanzi injects these potent cells inside the joints to encourage tissue repair and fight inflammation.

What causes neck pain?

Your neck supports the weight of your head, and the neck joint can bend, twist, and tilt, and extend. These motions make it easy to tweak the structures of your neck, leading to neck pain. Injury, repetitive stress, and disease are the culprits behind the majority of neck ailments. The following scenarios create the perfect conditions for neck pain:

  • Poor posture
  • Muscle strain
  • Cervical radiculopathy, or a pinched nerve
  • Facet disease, or neck arthritis
  • Herniated cervical disc
  • Injury
  • Viral infection

Simple everyday behaviors such as holding your cell phone in the crook of your neck or carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder can lead to neck problems.

When should I see a doctor about neck pain?

If you’re injured in an accident, or you experience residual numbness, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

How do you diagnose neck pain?

Dr. Natanzi begins your assessment with a medical history, asking questions about your neck health. Then, he performs a physical exam, evaluating how your head moves and checking for signs of injury.

To get a clearer picture of your injury, Dr. Natanzi may order X-rays or other imaging scans. If he detects a pinched nerve, he may perform electromyography (EMG) to see if your nerves are functioning properly.

Dr. Natanzi has achieved significant improvements with stem cell injections from your own body. He injects the platelet-rich plasma into the disc space. The growth factors fight inflammation and encourage your body’s healing mechanisms.

You can also learn postural and ergonomic techniques from Dr. Natanzi to improve alignment. Additionally, Dr. Natanzi provides neck exercises and stretches to enhance your neck strength and mobility.

What causes knee pain?

Every step you take on even ground creates a force equivalent to about 1.5 times your bodyweight. If you add an incline, extra items carried in your arms, or more strenuous activities, the force on your knees increases significantly. Your knees are vulnerable to damage since they bear the brunt of your weight. Any injury, damage from overuse, or underlying condition can cause knee pain. Knee pain can be a sign of:

  • Torn ligaments (such as MCL, LCL, or ACL)
  • Torn meniscus
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Knee fracture
  • Dislocation
How do you diagnose knee pain?

First, Dr. Natanzi asks questions about your medical history, including information about your injury. Then, he assesses the range of motion and strength of your knee. He also compares the looseness in both your knees.

From there, Dr. Natanzi may need to take X-rays, live ultrasound, or other imaging tests to rule out broken bones or identify tears.

How do you treat knee pain?

If your injury is minor, you may just need rest and ice to recover. Dr. Natanzi can also supply a brace to keep your knee supported.

Although surgery may seem to be the only option for a severe knee injury, Dr. Natanzi offers an alternative. He uses regenerative medicine to treat tears and tissue damage in the knee by injecting human stem cells into the injured area. These stem cells contain collagen, human growth factors, proteins, and other beneficial components that stimulate healing. They also reduce inflammation and discourage scar tissue formation.

Once your knee pain is gone, Dr. Natanzi may discuss long-term treatments for your knee, such as weight loss and strength-building exercises. These strategies support a stronger knee structure to reduce your chances of further injury.

What causes hip pain?

Cartilage acts as a cushion around the ball-and-socket joint of the hip. Deterioration or injury to the bone, cartilage, muscle, or soft tissue of the hip can result in hip pain. The most common causes of hip pain include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tendinitis
  • Injury
  • Pinched nerve
  • Dislocation
  • Labral, or cartilage, tear
  • Fracture
  • Bursitis

​ You can also experience referred pain in the hip from the lower back from sciatica or a slipped disc.

What are the risk factors for hip pain?​

Weight-bearing activities and repetitive motions leave you susceptible to hip pain and injury. Athletes, such as runners, who perform strenuous exercise place extra stress on the hip joint. The following risk factors increase your chances of damaging your hip:

  • Age
  • Decreased bone density
  • Improper athletic conditioning
  • Repetitive twisting motions
  • Pregnancy
  • Excess weight
Do I need surgery for my hip?​

Most of the time, you can recover without surgery. Hip replacement surgery may be necessary for a broken or deformed hip, but usually not for minor injuries.

Dr. Natanzi promotes natural therapies to rehabilitate the hip, such as physical therapy and regenerative medicine. Physical therapy builds the muscles that support the hip and increase flexibility in the joint.

Regenerative medicine involves stem cells extracted from your own body. Dr. Natanzi injects the platelet-rich plasma into your hip joint to relieve pain. The growth factors inside the plasma reduce inflammation and repair damaged tissues.

What causes shoulder pain?

The shoulder joint consists of a complex structure of ligaments, tendons, and muscles with expansive ranges of motion. Actions like carrying a heavy handbag over your shoulder or throwing a ball can strain your shoulder and lead to pain. Shoulder pain can often be attributed to one of the following:

  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Tendonitis
  • Labral (cartilage) tear
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pinched nerve
  • Fracture
  • Dislocation
When is shoulder pain cause for concern?

You may want to schedule an office visit with Dr. Natanzi if your shoulder pain doesn’t go away after several days of self-care. Dr. Natanzi will also evaluate any shoulder pain that prevents you from performing your everyday activities or results in swelling, warmth, and tenderness.

If you’ve been in an accident or you think you’ve dislocated or broken your shoulder, you should head to the emergency room. Severe pain and sudden swelling could indicate a more severe injury.

Shoulder pain that’s accompanied by breathing difficulties and chest tightness could be a sign of a heart attack. Seek immediate medical attention.

How do you diagnose shoulder pain?

Dr. Natanzi begins his assessment with a series of questions about your pain, when it started, and what triggers your pain. He records information about your medical history.

Next, Dr. Natanzi performs a physical exam to gauge your range of motion and strength. From there, he uses comprehensive bedside ultrasound to confirm a diagnosis.

Typically an ultrasound is all it takes, but Dr. Natanzi also has X-ray, electromyogram, and MRIs at his disposal for closer evaluation.

What treatment options are available for shoulder pain?

Most cases of shoulder pain resolve on their own or with the help of noninvasive therapies. Early treatment provides the best results, so it’s important to consult with Dr. Natanzi as soon as you experience a shoulder injury.

Nonsurgical, drug-free options for shoulder pain offer promising outcomes. Dr. Natanzi combines physical therapy and regenerative injections to restore shoulder function.

Physical therapy
Targeted exercises improve shoulder strength and flexibility. Dr. Natanzi helps you build a therapeutic exercise regimen to restore shoulder health and reduce pain.

Regenerative injections
Dr. Natanzi also offers cutting-edge regenerative stem cell injections to heal damaged tissues inside the shoulder joint. He injects platelets from your blood into the shoulder to stimulate your body’s healing factors.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is pain that originates anywhere along the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs down the lower back, through the hips and buttocks, and down the length of each leg. Usually, a pinched sciatic nerve causes pain and other symptoms, including:

  • Pain in the lower back, down the back of the leg
  • Weakness, tingling or numbness in one leg
  • Back spasms

​ The pain associated with sciatica ranges from mild to severe, from localized to radiating. You may feel pain only during sudden movements or when you walk. Some people experience what feels like an electric jolt when they move in specific directions.

What causes sciatica?

Usually, one of the following conditions compresses the sciatic nerve, leading to sciatica:

  • Herniated disk
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bone spur
  • Spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the spine
  • Injury
When should I see the doctor?

Most cases of sciatica recover on their own. If your symptoms are severe, get worse, or last longer than a week, you should see Dr. Natanzi. You may also want to consult with Dr. Natanzi if other therapies haven’t worked for you.

If you were injured in an accident, you should see a physician as soon as possible. If loss of bladder function accompanies your sciatic pain, seek immediate medical attention.

How do you treat sciatica?

Dr. Natanzi recommends a multi-directional approach to treatment, using physical therapies, at-home care, injections and other tactics to improve your condition and avoid surgery. He starts at the conservative end of treatment and progresses when necessary.

If extra weight and a weak core contribute to your back pain, Dr. Natanzi can help you lose weight, build core strength, and brace your back. Although you may be inclined to lie down and nurse a hurting back, it’s more effective to work physical activity back into your routine.​

Dr. Natanzi also offers epidural steroid injections and stem cell injections to provide relief. Stem cell injections not only ease the pain, but they also help your body heal the area around the injury.

If you’re looking for relief from your sciatic pain, contact The Regenerative Sports and Spine Institute online or over the phone.