Chiropractic & Neurology Testing

Back Pain
Understanding Causes & Treatment

If you’re visiting this page and groaning “Oh, my aching back!” you are not alone.

Studies show that 8 out of 10 Americans will suffer from disabling low back pain at some point in their lives.

Back pain may come on suddenly (acute) or may last for weeks or even months. When pain or stiffness persists for more than 3 months it is termed chronic and may indicate permanent damage.

If you have been suffering with back pain, back stiffness or other associated symptoms like numbness or tingling for more than three days you need to consult your health care provider.

Since 1997, Dr. Peter Gastaldi has been helping patients just like you, suffering with back pain related to many different causes.

Gastaldi Chiropractic is easily at 94 McClean Avenue on Staten Island, offer early morning, late evening, and weekend hours, and accept all insurance plans.


Give us a call now to schedule your same-day appointment...

(718) 839-6933

A more in depth discussion of back pain follows:


Anatomy of the Low Back

Back pain is a very common medical condition, and is in fact one of the most common reasons we at Gastaldi Chiropractic are consulted. If you've been suffering - we can help.

A basic description of anatomy will help you to understand the complexity of the “lumbar spine,” the medical term for what is commonly referred to as the lower back.

The lumbar spine is made up of 5 separate bones or “vertebra” essentially stacked on top of one another.

Each vertebra is separated by a disc, which acts as a shock absorber, and allows you to bend, twist and rotate at each level independently. The separation that the disc provides also allows an essential space for the spinal nerve roots to exit.

This entire system is bound by fibrous bands called ligaments, and serves as attachments and levers for many different muscles.

Injury to any one of these delicate structures can result in profound symptoms. Moreover, it may be difficult for you to determine the source of your back pain, since symptoms may be closely related. Even though symptoms from one person to the next may be similar, treatment may be very different depending on the source of the injury. This is why it is so important to have an experienced clinician make the diagnosis.

Whether you're suffering from a stiff back or severe back pain, we can help. There is no need to live with back pain or stiffness any longer.

A more in depth discussion of some of the more common conditions associated with back pain we treat can be found below…

Lumbar Sprain/Strain:

As you learned in the above-mentioned anatomy discussion there are many muscles associated with the lower back, each having its own unique job, but working in concert with the other muscles. Some of the muscles are very large, and others are small.

A muscle can be injured relatively easily, through over stretching – which often occurs with fast movements, particularly when a muscle is “cold”, or overloading, such as lifting heavy objects. This is termed a “back strain,” which refers specifically to muscle or tendon injury (usually both).

In many cases, back muscle strain may occur with no known trauma. This is because there tends to be a delayed reaction between the time muscles are injured and the time before it actually registers as back pain. If you’ve ever overworked and then felt sore a day or two later, you can better appreciate this phenomenon.

The good news is that because muscles have such a great blood supply, with appropriate conservative physical therapy, back strains heal relatively quickly. The bad news is that if left untreated scar tissue begins to form, usually within 72 hours, making full recovery less likely with each passing day.

So simply stated – with prompt attention our team of doctors and therapists can get your lower back pain under control, and get you back on your feet quickly. If you are suffering with back pain, please don’t delay. We’re on call seven days a week…

(718) 839-6933

Sprain versus Strain

As mentioned earlier there are tight, fibrous bands called ligaments that bind the lumbar vertebra.

Like a muscle, a ligament can be injured relatively easily, through over stretching – fast movements, or overloading, such as lifting heavy objects. These injuries are known as sprains.

Unlike muscles however, ligaments have a poor blood supply lending these injuries to slower healing. For this reason, immediate care is imperative. Our techniques can help to increase blood supply thus leading to quicker recovery from back sprain.

Since it is often difficult for a patient to differentiate between muscle or ligament injury, it is imperative that you get examined at the first sign of pain... And because of the extremely sensitive nervous system structures throughout the back and spine (recall our anatomy discussion) if it is even more important to get prompt attention. Don’t delay… We’re on call seven days a week. If any immediate concern, give us a call and talk to one of our trained physical therapists or doctors on the phone right now.



Call now…
(718) 839-6933
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Lumbar Disc Injury:

As I mentioned in the anatomy discussion above, the disc is a little shock absorber between each vertebrae. The disc has a makeup similar to a jelly donut – firm on the outside and soft of the inside.

Imagine what would happen if you gently squeezed the jelly donut. It would bulge on the opposite side. This is analogous to a medically diagnosed “disc bulge.”

Now imagine squeezing it hard enough for the jelly to squirt out. This is similar to a “disc herniation.”

Either spinal disc injury type can be quite serious because that disc material can put pressure on sensitive nerve tissue that a healthy disc is designed to protect.

Resulting symptoms include pain, numbness and tingling, and weakness in the back, legs, or feet.

Because of the seriousness of a disc injury it is important to get evaluated by a trained clinician ASAP. Dr. Peter Gastaldi is specifically trained to diagnose and treat all types of disc injuries, but don’t guess if this condition will get better on its own – because it probably won’t!

Dr. Gastaldi has been helping patients just like you recover from serious disc injuries, without surgery for more than 14 years.

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with a spinal disc injury, call our office today to see how our techniques can benefit you.


Call now…
(718) 839-6933


Lumbar Arthritis:

Arthritis literally translates to “inflammation of the joints”. We most commonly use it as a lay term referring to the degeneration of the joints.

A joint is an area where two bones come together. The ends of the bones are covered with a smooth fibrous cartilage. In a healthy joint, that cartilage is bathed with a fluid allowing the bones to slide freely over one another through their normal movements.

In an unhealthy joint however, the cartilage becomes pitted, the bones become roughened, and the fluid becomes limited. This is what we generally refer to when we mention “arthritis.”

It happens from cumulative stress. If you are a professional skier for example, you may have arthritis in your thirties. But for most of us arthritis begins in our forties or fifties. The more stress we acquire, the more rapidly and widespread the degeneration.

You may think that nothing can be done for arthritis. This however is not entirely true, and does not tell the whole story.

It’s true that you can’t reverse much of the bone destruction associated with arthritis, but you can make the joint function better with less pain. By addressing the soft-tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc), as well as the joint motion, proper physical therapy can decrease pain, increase joint stability, and range of motion.

It is the function and pain level that we're most concerned about anyway, not the way our x-rays look!

At Gastaldi Chiropractic, we have a integrated program that can make you more flexible and stronger by working not only with the joint, but also with the surrounding soft-tissues. The joint complex will therefore function better allowing you to function better.

So your x-rays may not look a whole lot different, but you sure can feel and act different!

Don't keep putting it off. If you have arthritis, our team can help! Every day you wait, allows the condition to continue to worsen.

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with arthritis, call our office today to see how our techniques can benefit you.



Call now…
(718) 839-6933

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis:

Spinal Stenosis occurs when the tube that the spinal cord sits in "the canal" closes down. This can happen acutely, as in the case with a disc herniation (discussed above) or over a longer period of time, as in the case with degenerative arthritis - common in the aging population.

Spinal stenosis can be serious and lead to permanent disability. However, many spinal stenosis patients can completely erase their symptoms and get back to enjoying life. Specific exercises, stretches, and spinal joint mobilization can open that canal and actually reverse symptoms – but don’t take our word for it…check out our testimonials section to learn about the benefits we’ve already shared with your neighbors.

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with spinal stenosis, call our office today to see how our techniques can benefit you.


Call now…
(718) 839-6933

Testimonial

"Best Chiropractor in Staten Island!"

Greg S.