Do you have back pain but don’t want to see a doctor where you live because you’re heading south for the winter months? Not to worry. Whether you’re a “snow bird” or you happen to live in Pembroke Pines, FL, if you’re suffering from back pain, you can find relief at Berkower Pain & Spine Rehabilitation.
Back pain, especially lower back pain, is more common than you might think. About 80 percent of adults experience lower back pain during their lives. Dr. David Berkower is a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist. He works with his patients, both seasonal and full-time residents, to relieve their back pain and restore their quality of life.
Dr. Berkower is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and has received subspecialty certification in pain medicine. He focuses on non-surgical techniques to treat patients with both chronic and acute pain. Is your back pain becoming unbearable? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Berkower.
What causes back pain?
There are many causes of back pain. The most common are:
- Muscle or ligament strains. Strains occur when soft tissues are stretched beyond their normal range. They occur from repetitive lifting of heavy objects and from sudden, jerking motions, like twisting quickly to look at something behind you or being jostled in a car accident.
- Herniated discs. Between the vertebrae in your spine is a soft cushion that holds the bones apart and allows you to twist your body. If the disc bulges or ruptures, the inner material can leak out and press on a nerve, causing pain.
- Arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, comes from wear-and-tear on the muscles and spinal column. Over time it can impact the lower back and neck vertebrae. Sometimes arthritis in the spine leads to a narrowing of the column and resultant pressure on the nerves. This condition is known as spinal stenosis.
- Osteoporosis. If your bones lose mass and become porous, your vertebrae may be prone to spontaneous compression fractures.
What is physical medicine?
Physical medicine, also referred to as physiatry or rehabilitation medicine, strives to restore function and quality of life to those with many different kinds of pain. However, unlike traditional medicine, the practitioner’s goal is not to find a cure for the problem but instead to relieve pain and to improve patients’ quality of life.
Physiatrists take a “holistic” approach to patient care and regard patients as integral parts of the healing process.
How do you treat back pain?
Dr. Berkower works on you as a whole person, not just on your symptoms. He uses a variety of treatments to help you conquer the pain and prescribes injections and medications for immediate pain relief. For example, he may do a sympathetic nerve block in your back to lessen your pain so you can tolerate other treatments.
Some common medications include:
- Analgesics. These include OTC medicines like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin and prescription medications like opioids (hydrocodone and morphine). Opioids are only used for short-term, acute pain.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). These relieve both pain and inflammation and include OTC drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium.
- Antidepressants. These include the tricyclics, as well as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. Used off-label, they’re commonly prescribed for lower back pain that has turned chronic.
Dr. Berkower also prescribes a number of physical therapy exercises and some lifestyle modifications that retrain your movement patterns and help prevent acute pain from becoming chronic.
Exercises may include strengthening and dynamic stabilization, both of which support the muscles that hold up your back.
If you’re tired of dealing with your back pain, call our office at 954-430-9972 or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment. We’re happy to see you, no matter where you hail from.