Interview on Back Pain with Advance Physical Medicine Center’s Dr. David Berk

Interview on Back Pain with Advance Physical Medicine Center’s Dr. David Berk

Press Release ( - FORT LEE, N.J. - Feb 16, 2018 - In an exclusive interview with Practicomm, chiropractic sports physician and conditioning specialist provides valuable update on controversial medical condition of backaches.

Question # 1: Every time you turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper, you see ads about remedies for back pain. They range from pitches to patches to devices and more. The OTC pills are usually the same pills people take for a headache or a cold; i.e., Aleve, Advil, Tylenol, aspirin et al. Of course, many people will go to a doctor who will prescribe serious pain pills. Why should they opt for physiotherapy?

Dr. Berk: Most back pain is not caused from one single reason. Rather it is of insidious onset and is most likely the accumulation of small pressures to the spine over a long period of time. Our bodies develop patterns of tightness in our postural muscles and weakness in our muscles responsible for movement. Compensation over time causes abnormal movement patterns and places the spine on a road to pain. Pain is our alarm system alerting us that there is a problem. Medication specifically to treat pain or any other pain relieving modality simply turns off the alarm system but doesn’t address the problem. The goal of rehabilitation is to correct poor movement patterns with manual therapy and exercise. In other words, it corrects the root of the problem.

Question #2: What do you say to people who have back pain in terms of what they should to for back pain and why?

Dr. Berk: When people first attend the clinic with lower back pain, the primary goal is to evaluate that individual to find out why they are experiencing pain. Lower back pain is a symptom but there are many reasons why the symptom is present. Once the problem is discovered, a plan is created to address it. Most of the time initial treatment must address aggravating factors in their everyday life that may be triggering or making the problem worse. A treatment plan is created to address anything found on examination. The goal of any treatment plan is to improve any functional deficit – range of motion, flexibility, strength, and coordination – which will allow the patient to acquire efficient movement patterns and minimize any risk of future injury. The culmination of any successful rehabilitation must include self-treatment in the form of home exercise. It is imperative to empower the patient and make them realize that they can stay well by themselves and do not require the help of others. A healthy lifestyle that includes an anti-inflammatory diet and exercise are key factors to the health of the musculoskeletal system.

Question # 3: How long should a person go on with handling back pain before surgery is the only recourse?

Dr. Berk: Research shows that conservative management of lower back pain is extremely successful. Only 3-5% of patients with lower back pain require surgical intervention. By definition, patients who require surgery have progressive xum neurological symptoms. These symptoms include muscle weakness caused by a pinched nerve that is getting worse and not responding to treatment. Pain is not a criterion for surgery. There are infinite options available, both conservative and pharmacological, that address pain while the patient finds a treatment option that works for him or her to address the problem.

Question #4: What is the most common cause of back pain?

Dr. Berk: Back pain is the third most costly condition to our health care system behind only cancer and cardiac/stroke. One of the reasons for this is that 80% of the population experiences lower back pain at least once in lifetime. Lower back pain is studied extensively because of its place in our healthcare problem and its high incidence. The most common cause of lower back pain is cycles of flexion or forward bending. This includes repetitive bending or prolonged bending or sitting over a long period of time.

Our body prefers a variety of movement, but typically our activities of daily living don’t include that. The typical lower back patient is one that is deconditioned from a sedentary lifestyle and has an occupation that requires sitting in front of a computer for 40+ hours per week.

We believe that movement is medicine. The question is what is the correct movement? The answer is different with every patient. Gray Cook, a physical therapist who studies movement has a mantra that I really like – “First move well and then move often.” If every patient followed this prescription lower back pain wouldn’t be the third most costly condition in our healthy care system and 80% of the population wouldn’t experience lower back pain.

About Dr. Berk

Dr. David Berk, MS, DC, CCSP, DACRB, serves as Chiropractic Sports Physician and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist. His patient focus covers ailments and injuries including headaches, muscle pain, spinal and disc injuries. He holds a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition. Dr. Berk’s expertise includes the McKenzie Technique, Cervical and Lumbar Disc Decompression, Cox flexion/distraction, and Active Release Technique. A leader in his field, he is an active member of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians, Association of New Jersey Chiropractors, and National Strength & Conditioning Association. For more information visit:

About Practicomm LLC

Practicomm is a virtual integrated communications agency that not only offers a wide range of products and services than traditional agencies, but also aligns communications specialists to ensure excellence.  In short, we practice Targeted Practical Communications.  Headed up by three partners with collective experience of more than 80 years in the advertising and public relations fields, Practicomm has the ability to access more than 30 talented communications specialists with whom it has had experience in the past.  With a much lower overhead than traditional agencies, savings are passed along to its clients for jobs that are truly targeted before and after the fact to key audiences.    for more information visit:

Source : Advanced Physical Medicine Center

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