If you live with chronic pain, you know what a struggle it is to stay active, especially when you have debilitating back pain. When you still have pain despite conservative medical care or your pain gets worse, the experienced physicians at the University Pain and Spine Center can help. At their offices in Englewood Cliffs, Somerset, Monroe Township, Freehold, and Clark, New Jersey, they offer numerous interventional and regenerative treatments that effectively alleviate chronic pain. To start your journey toward pain relief, call or book an appointment online.

Pain Management (Overview)

Pain management may help you if you have chronic pain. It can help reduce the pain of spine problems, cancer and other long-term illnesses. It can also help with injuries, like whiplash, or with feeling better after surgery and other painful medical treatments. Pain management doctors have backgrounds in anesthesiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, or psychiatry. Your specialist works closely with your entire healthcare team. Different types of pain respond to different techniques. Your specialist may recommend injections or physical therapy. You may benefit from lifestyle changes, exercise and psychological treatments. You’ll take an active role in your own treatment. And your feedback helps your care team create the best plan for you. Although some chronic pain can never be cured, pain management can help reduce it. And pain management can give you a plan to cope with your pain.

What is chronic pain?

Your pain is chronic when it lasts at least three to six months. If your pain began due to an acute injury, chronic pain develops when the pain lasts long after the injury heals.

Chronic pain may originate from a variety of conditions, such as a musculoskeletal injury, complex regional pain syndrome, neuropathy, cancer, and post-surgery pain. Of all the possible causes, however, chronic back and neck pain are the top causes of disability.

What causes chronic back pain?

Muscle and ligament injuries often cause back pain, especially for active adults. As you get older, age-related changes in your spine lead to conditions such as:

Herniated disc

A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like center inside the disc bulges out through a weak spot or tear in the disc’s outer covering. When the center ruptures, its contents flow over the nearby nerves, causing inflammation and pain. You can develop a herniated disc due to an injury, but it’s typically the result of degeneration.

Degenerative disc disease

As you get older, the vertebral discs start to dehydrate, becoming thinner and less resilient. As a result, the disc can’t do its normal job of absorbing shock and supporting your spine. The disc gradually collapses, pinching the nerves and causing pain.


You can develop osteoarthritis in the facet joints between vertebrae. Over years of daily wear and tear, the cartilage deteriorates, bone rubs against bone, and bone spurs develop.

How do pain medicine specialists treat chronic pain?

Chronic pain seldom responds well to conventional treatment, such as medication. When your pain persists despite medical treatment, the specialists at the University Pain and Spine Center offer a wide range of effective treatment options.

These treatments represent some of the most frequently performed pain-relief procedures at the University Pain and Spine Center:

  • Steroid injections
  • Spinal cord stimulator
  • Nerve ablation
  • Nerve blocks
  • Discectomy
  • Intrathecal pain pump
  • Spine stabilization system (DYNESYS®)
  • Vertiflex® Superion® Indirect Decompression System
  • X Stop® (interspinous process decompression system)
  • Decompression with laminoplasty, laminoplasty, and foraminotomy
  • Spinal fusion
  • Artificial disc replacement
  • Prolotherapy
  • Cold laser therapy
  • Viscosupplementation
  • Trigger point injections

While each treatment has a unique mechanism of action, many of them relieve pain using one of several techniques. They may reduce inflammation, promote healing, trigger the regeneration of new tissues, decompress pinched spinal nerves, or stop the nerves from sending pain signals to your brain.

If you need relief from chronic pain, especially chronic back pain, call the University Pain and Spine Center, or book an appointment online.