Back

Conditions We Treat

Back pain is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States, but this does not need to be the case! If properly diagnosed and  treated in a timely manner, back pain can be effectively managed, most often without surgery, allowing the patient to maintain a high quality of life. So why do so many patients who develop acute back pain ultimately suffer with years of chronic back pain, while experiencing undesirable side effects from the medications used to treat this problem? Because their treatment has been symptom-based, rather than using the problem-solving and patient-centered approach to care that Dr. Kahn utilizes, which identifies the cause of the pain, which in turn allows him to provide diagnosis-specific treatment, leading to better outcomes and higher patient satisfaction, while promoting a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Many years ago at the annual meeting of the North American Spine Society, the largest group of spine specialists across multiple specialties in the world, of which Dr. Kahn has been a member and Fellow since 1992, the  famous Swedish spine surgeon and researcher, the late Dr. Alf Nachemson, told the hundreds of doctors present, “If your patients don’t like the way their MRI scans look, tell them to look in the mirror”. What did he mean by that? It means that our spines age with the rest of our bodies, and proportional to our lifestyle and activities, and we should NOT assume that just because there are some degenerated discs on an MRI scan that this is the only cause of the back pain. When doctors “treat the pictures” instead of the patient, this can lead to poor outcomes, higher costs, and chronic pain.

Our practice is different, in that Dr. Kahn will explain the relationship of any results of x-rays and MRI scans to your symptoms, but will also perform a complete history and examination specific to your complaints and condition, and will then identify one of the many causes of back pain which he treats, which includes:

  • Sacroiliac joint disorders
  • Piriformis syndrome and other myofascial pain disorders
  • Degenerative lumbar discs and joints
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Lumbar radiculopathy
  • Sciatic nerve disorders

Diagnostic Tests

By the time a patient presents to a spine specialist for consultation, multiple diagnostic studies have typically been performed, including x-rays and MRI scans. Were your x-rays taken while you were standing? Were you asked to bend forward and backward for flexion-extension views? If you answered NO to these questions, your x-rays did not provide optimal information regarding the structure and stability of your spine. Do you have leg pain, cramping, weakness. or numbness, worse with walking or in certain positions? If you answered YES, there is a high likelihood that you have a neurological component to your pain, and require additional diagnostic testing to determine the location and severity of any nerve involvement in your presenting symptoms. Dr. Kahn specializes in electrodiagnostic testing (EDX), which is performed in our in-office diagnostic suite, with your results available to you upon conclusion of the testing, which includes:

  • Nerve conduction studies (NCS), including motor, sensory, and late wave responses (H-reflex and F-wave)
  • Electromyography, including the paraspinal, limb, and sphincter muscles (if clinically indicated)

Procedures

Our practice performs all injection related procedures under ultrasound-guidance, which is a safe, non-radiation producing diagnostic modality. Since we do not administer conscious sedation or any other form of oral or IV medication, all procedures are performed within our office, rather than in an ambulatory surgery center. We anticipate that in the near future, we will be offering additional spinal injection procedures, including caudal epidural, selective S1 root, and facet joint injections, For patients who require such treatment, we presently offer the following procedures:

  • Sacroiliac joint injections
  • Trigger point injections
  • Injections of ligament, fascia, and muscle tissue
  • Peripheral nerve blocks of the lower limbs
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