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Is Your Back a Pain?

A twinge in your knee when you run, a stiff back when you wake or just a new ache you didn’t remember being there.

September is Pain Awareness Month. And whether they are due to the normal discomfort of overexertion, aging or something more serious, doctors say you should be mindful of those pains.

“Most people realize they’re going to have some aches and pains, or stiffness, with normal aging. That’s very common,” explains Dr. Paymaun Lotfi, an orthopedic spinal specialist and surgeon at Sentara. “The majority of the issues we see are along those lines, but when you have radiating pain into the extremities—into your arm or leg, numbness, weakness or tingling—that’s really not common with normal aging.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, 8 out of 10 people will have back pain at some point in their lives. Whether it’s inflammation, arthritis or a condition more serious like a herniated disc, Dr. Lotfi has seen it all. That’s why he’s excited to be part of the newly formed Sentara Back & Neck Center at
Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in Woodbridge.

“It’s a more comprehensive approach to treating spinal issues. It’s a team approach,” he said. According to him, whether that treatment means a non-surgical alternative or working with a pain management specialist or trained physical therapist to create a rehabilitation plan, the new Sentara Back & Neck
Center is a specialized program that has alternatives to get everyone back into the game. Dr. Lotfi said, “We’re there for you and your family every step of the way.”

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