Archive for 'back pain doctor'

Muscles as the source of pain

Muscles are the largest organ system in the body, accounting for approximately 50% of our body weight.  We have different ways of categorizing muscles: how they look, how they move, and where they’re located. We are going to focus on muscles that move voluntarily, which means we tell the muscles to move, as opposed to involuntary muscles, which automatically move on their own (like our heart and blood vessels). There are 641 muscles in the body – 340 pairs (meaning we have one on the right, and one on the left), and one unpaired (which is the transverse arytenoid for those who must know).

Back Pain

70% of lower back pain is diagnosed as idiopathic or non-specific[1], which means we are not sure what caused the pain. However, most investigators believe that sprains and strains of the soft tissue are the source of pain. Soft tissue refers to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. So it may be surprising that the emphasis in evaluating and treating lower back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain, is on the spine and the nerves coming out of the spine. In fact, from 1997 to 2005, the prevalence of the diagnosis of spine-related issues has increased 100% while the diagnosis of strains and sprains of soft tissue has gone down by 40%[2].

This is generally attributed to the increase in the use of high-tech imaging studies, such as MRI and CT scans.  However, just because we have a clearer image of what’s going on inside of your body doesn’t mean that we have a clearer understanding of what’s causing your pain. More than 90% of lower spine MRIs exams in adults are abnormal[3]. Studies have found that up to 40% of people have herniated discs and as many as 70% have degenerated discs with no pain. If people can walk around with abnormal spines without pain, then this means that abnormalities in the spine aren’t always the cause of pain. Your diagnosis of a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or spondylosisthesis may actually be unrelated to your source of pain.

Muscles are often ignored when it comes to diagnosing pain. I believe the reason is that we rarely evaluate muscles as a source of pain. We generally don’t learn about or understand how they work, what chemical changes take place inside, and how they produce pain (the pathophysiology). I would like to take the next few blogs to discuss how muscles contribute to your chronic pain.

[1] Deyo, RA., et al. Low Back Pain. NEJM. 2001; 344(5):363-370

[2] Martin, B., et al. Expenditures and health status among adults with back and neck problems. JAMA. 299(6):656-64, Feb 2008.

[3] Zimmerman, Robert D. “A Review of Utilization of Diagnostic Imaging in the Evaluation of Patients with Back Pain: The When and What of Back Pain Imaging.” Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation 8 (1997): 125-33.


Back Pain Doctor NYC – About Dr. Norman Marcus and NMPI

Norman Marcus Pain Institute

Dr. Norman Marcus is dedicated to the elimination of pain. NMPI offers individualized and comprehensive treatment plans to minimize and eliminate the most common causes of pain: muscle tension, weakness, stiffness, spasms and trigger points.

Even though treatment for back and neck pain in the United States costs more than $100 billion per year, it frequently fails to provide pain relief and improvement in function. Dr. Marcus provides a solution that can eradicate your pain and end your suffering.

Most doctors assert that back and neck pain originates from your spine, discs, or nerves. Dr. Norman Marcus has proven that most back and neck pain is caused by soft tissue such as muscles and tendons.  Even though muscles are the most common cause of pain in the back, neck, and shoulders, a thorough examination of muscles is rarely, if ever done.

At NMPI, Dr. Marcus provides effective care. He has revolutionized how doctors treat pain using a diagnostic instrument that electrically identifies the source of painful muscles. Dr. Marcus has a track record of eliminating pain in patients who were previously diagnosed with sciatica, radiculopathy, failed back surgery syndrome, degenerative disc disease, complex regional pain syndrome (previously called reflex sympathy dystrophy), plantar fasciitis, and Fibromyalgia Syndrome. Many patients treated at NMPI leave free of long standing back pain, neck pain and headache.

The muscle treatment techniques, for the relief of back pain, used by Dr. Marcus were developed by his mentor Dr. Hans Kraus, the White House Physician for President John F. Kennedy, who relieved the President from his lifelong back pain.

Although at NMPI the main goal is to treat and cure patients, Dr. Marcus is also committed to assisting organizations in the development of evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of common pain problems.

About Norman J. Marcus M.D.

Marcus Pain,Back pain,Disc treatment,Slipped disc,Neck and shoulder pain,Sciatica,Shoulder pain

Dr. Norman Marcus  is a physician who cares about his patients and provides treatment that works. He launched the Norman Marcus Pain Institute for the treatment, relief, and management of pain in 1998.

As consultant and researcher, Dr. Marcus has established national pain medicine models for over two decades and has developed a proven diagnostic approach that targets the cause of your pain and successfully treats it. Castle Connolly has named him one of Best NYC back pain doctors for more than ten consecutive years and in 2012 New York Magazine listed Dr. Marcus in their Best Doctors issue.

He is a pioneering author of two books Freedom from Pain and End Back Pain Forever.  A past president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, Dr. Marcus is a member of five professional societies and has presented over 100 lectures about diagnosing and treating pain to audiences throughout the world.

In 1977, after two years as a staff physician at the Headache Unit at Montefiore Hospital, Dr. Marcus co-founded and directed the first pain center in NYC at Montefiore Hospital. He went on to establish and direct pain centers at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City (1983-1998) and The Princess Margaret Hospital in Windsor, England (1997-2001). Currently he is both the Director of Muscle Pain Research and an Associate Professor of anesthesiology and psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine in NYC.

Dr. Marcus is a media favorite and frequent guest on television having shared his expertise in the treatment and management of pain on The Today Show, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, and The Early Show.

View Dr. Marcus’s C.V.

Dr. Marcus’s Method

Dr. Marcus’s patented approach utilizes the electrical identification of painful muscles and indicates the specific treatment required. His treatment approach has been published in peer-reviewed journals and chapters in academic textbooks.

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