Dr. Ephraim Brenman on Non-Surgical Treatment for Low Back Pain

Posted on


A new study published in the Annals of Family Medicine says that osteopathic manipulative therapy leads to short term pain relief in patients suffering from chronic lower back pain.  I sat down with Dr. Ephraim K. Brenman, TSAOG’s resident osteopath and a specialist in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, to discuss this therapy.

What does it mean to be a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)?
To become a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, you go through traditional medical training in addition to training in osteopathic manipulative therapy.

What is osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT)?
Osteopathic manipulative therapy is basically using your hands as tools to heal.  It can range from high velocity work (the pop, crack kind of stuff that people associate with chiropractors) to soft tissue manipulation.

Do you use OMT in your practice to treat patients with low back pain?
Yes, absolutely.  OMT is one of the best treatments for patients with lower back pain.

What kind of results have you seen using OMT with this patient population?
I’ve seen really good short term results, especially when OMT is used in combination with a home exercise program.

When you say short term results, what time frame are you describing?
With OMT, patients can usually expect pain relief lasting 2-4 weeks.

The new study also found that ultrasound therapy is not as effective as OMT for patients with lower back pain.  Have you found this to be the case in your practice?
Yes, ultrasound therapy basically uses radio waves to loosen tissue and that’s never going to be as effective as physically loosening tissue to relieve pain.  However, I think using ultrasound therapy in tandem with OMT might yield more desirable results.

For patients who suffer from low back pain, short term pain relief may not sound like enough of a solution.  How do you get from short term pain relief to a long term solution for these patients?
Patients can undergo 4-6 treatments of OMT, but I encourage OMT along with a home exercise regimen to loosen tissue clinically and then keep things loose while strengthening trouble areas at home.  Most patients who go through this process can transition from clinical treatment with OMT into just using their home exercise program as a long term solution for their low back pain.

Dr. Ephraim K. Brenman is a physiatrist with additional fellowship training in spine and sports medicine.  He specializes in non-surgical spinal care and pain management and treats patients aged 12 years and up.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Brenman, please call 210-281-9595.



One thought on “Dr. Ephraim Brenman on Non-Surgical Treatment for Low Back Pain”

  1. Barbara behl says:

    I have moved here from Atlanta & recupporting from a 75 percent fractured vertabra, since I have moved here I fell again & supposedly have fractured my back with a second fracture & did some damage to the old fracture. I went to a doctor here but not impressed with his experience. We were told of the orthopaedic group from our doctor in Atlanta. I was trying to find a doctor closer. Do you have a doctor there that can help me or know of a doctor that could help me.

NOTE: We cannot provide medical advice or diagnoses without seeing a patient in person.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Subscribe to TSAOG Updates