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Spinal Disease

“The most common source of pain that can be simply treated without surgery”

Spinal disease is part of the normal process of aging. In many people, it is painless, but in some individuals, it can result in severe debilitating pain. Starting around the mid-30s, the gel within the disc breaks down with age, which results in a progressive deterioration of the adjacent bone, muscles, joints and ligaments. This process increases your risk of pain. Poor posture, repetitive mechanical loading and smoking are thought to play significant roles.

Why your spinal disease hurts.

Degeneration of the disc allows blood vessels and nerves to penetrate the disc which introduces inflammatory mediators into the area. These inflammatory mediators result in pain and if widespread can cause severe debilitating pain in the discs and nerves resulting in severe muscle spasms and radiating pain in the arms and legs


• Ranges from painless progression to severe back pain
• Progressive weakness
• Loss of flexibility
• Numbness and tingling

If you are experiencing pain or weakness due to spinal disease you could be suffering from spinal disease. Our expert doctors at Spine & Sports Medicine of New York use their expertise in innovative assessments to accurately diagnose the pain associated with spinal disease. It is difficult to differentiate normal aging from pathological processes so diagnosis can be challenging, but remains very important.

Other diseases that can mimic spinal disease include:

• Fractures
• Infections
• Neoplasm

Our Board-Certified Physicians Can Accurately Diagnose the Source of Your Pain

We conduct a thorough clinical evaluation to determine if the pain is generated from spinal disease as well as other conditions that share similar symptoms. We begin our evaluation of your problem with a complete medical history using detailed information gathering tools followed by a focused physical examination. We then confirm our diagnosis with specialized tests which may include x-ray, CT, electrodiagnostic (EMG) studies, ultrasonography, or MRI.

“No surgery is needed to relieve pain related to your spinal disease”


Treatment will depend on the source of pain which may range from physical therapy to targeted injections or other interventions. For less severe pain a course of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) and physical therapy may be helpful. For more severe pain, trigger point injections for symptoms of myofascial pain or epidural steroid injections may be more helpful.

Here’s what you can expect if one of our pain specialists treats your pain:

• Relief of pain to get you back to living.
• Several treatment options available to target the root of the problem
• May be accompanied by physical therapy to strengthen your core musculature
• Body mechanics awareness to eliminate the source of the pain
• Epidural steroid injections may be helpful
• Many patients gain considerable to complete relief with the first or second procedure
• No general anesthesia, surgery or prolonged recovery periods to slow you down from your busy schedule
• Thousands of patients have been helped by our innovative approach to degenerative disc disease.

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Dear Dr. Panagos,

Although I haven’t seen you in a while, I wanted to write you a thank you testimonial because my one visit at your office changed my life.

When I met you, you immediately heard me, you suggested based on my past medical history (already having seen a doctor and trying physical therapy etc) to have an MRI rather than waiting and making me come back and forth to the office as many other doctors would have tried.

You then gave me great advice – get a standing desk or you’ll be back for surgery. Your straight talk saved my life in so many ways. In fact,
I’ve provided your sage advice to many others that standing desks are beneficial especially for people with back pan (or not) or work at companies where long hours required.

During our visit, you spent time talking to me about the medical facts and my potential for being a candidate for surgery due to my pain from 3 herniated disks, but that it was not the only option. You offered eating tips some closely related to the Paleo Diet (cut out processed foods, eat more fruits, veges, and protein, avoid bread, gaseous foods in my case, limiting dairy, chocolate, common sense, etc) and other pain relief ideas. Believe it or not, I am one of those A type personalities that listened and tried it.

Soon after I bought a book called Paleo Diet, I adhered to it strictly for the first 30 days then modified as the author suggested, I lost 23 pounds in about 13 months without even trying. Then after many months, I started to resume modified yoga and tennis *sorry just can’t give it up*.

However, the biggest pain relief I had was time and the “standing desk.” Guess I was one of the lucky ones.

Thank you again for helping me and going beyond what was required to help my future and provide me the facts about the surgery, alternatives, and healthy choices. I appreciated your visit and sage advice until we may meet again.

Be well and please feel free to keep in touch.

I also concur with your thoughts that women take calcium and magnesium together, along with their Vitamin D’s.. etc..

All great things you managed to say in 1 doctor’s visit to me. It made me feel special.

You are a great doctor. I never knew there was a cure for “pain” and it was so much about food and managing timing (lots of time).

Elysa D.

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