Back Pain Specialist

Dr Temkin
Dr. Michael Temkin, DO
Board Certified Internal Medicine & Primary Care located in San Ramon, CA

About Dr. Temkin

“I consider myself a very proactive physician. I focus on getting my patients looking and feeling their best.”

One of the most common reasons for doctor’s visits and lost time at work is back pain. Although the pain can be incapacitating, the good news is that most cases are temporary and resolve on their own. Dr. Michael Temkin in San Ramon, California, can help you manage your pain as well as work with you to prevent future problems. Call or click today to make an appointment.


Back Pain Q & A

What symptoms usually accompany back pain?

  • Rather than a condition producing a single sensation, back pain varies. You may feel muscle aches at times, while pain occasionally stabs or shoots to parts of your body, often in association with particular movements.
  • Radiating and phantom pain is also common. Because back pain may result from irritated nerves at the spine, you may feel pain, numbness, tingling, or other sensations anywhere along the path that nerve takes. When you have lower back pain, often the sciatic nerve is involved, so you may feel sensations down your buttocks, outer thigh, knee, and even into your foot.
  • Restricted mobility and stiffness also accompany back pain. Occasionally, restricted mobility may be the greater problem, with pain occurring only when you move beyond a limited range of motion.

What causes back pain?

Just as there’s no single symptom, there’s often no single cause. Back pain can be acute — starting suddenly and lasting no more than a month or so — or chronic — lasting months, years, or more. Sometimes, physical exams and diagnostic imagery can determine the cause, while other times, sources of pain are merely suspected and positively identified.

Common causes of back pain, alone or in combination, include:
  • Arthritis: particularly osteoarthritis, which can cause bony growths into your spinal canal, compressing or irritating nerves
  • Ruptured discs: spinal discs have a tough outer covering and softer, gel-like interior that may sometimes escape through cracks or ruptures in the outer layer; this puts nerves at risk of irritation or compression
  • Soft tissue strain: overuse can strain muscles and ligaments, leading to back pain that’s not related to nerve irritation
  • Tree nuts, like walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, brazil nuts, and pecans
  • Osteoporosis: loss of bone density may allow vertebrae to buckle under the load your spine bears, causing nerve compression

What is asthma?

Asthma is a condition where your airways narrow, swell, and produce extra mucus, which can make it difficult to breathe. Common symptoms include coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Things that trigger asthma vary from person to person and can include:
  • Airborne substances, such as pollen, dust mites, or mold
  • Animal dander
  • Cold air
  • Exercise
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Respiratory infections like colds
  • Smoke or smog
  • Strong emotions and stress
  • Sulfites and preservatives added to some types of foods and beverages
The severity of a person’s asthma can range from a nuisance that gets in the way of normal life to a life-threatening asthma attack. Dr. Temkin can help you control your asthma symptoms, track your triggers, and adjust treatment as needed over time.

How is back pain treated?

Chances are that with some rest and moderate stretching, most cases of back pain resolve themselves in a matter of weeks. Despite the tendency to rest when you’re feeling pain, back problems usually respond to light activity that doesn’t aggravate the pain. If you can walk pain-free, for example, that may your best option.

When over-the-counter medication doesn’t handle pain, however, a visit to Dr. Temkin is in order. He can also recommend stretches, hot and cold treatment strategies, or other self-care options. Surgery is rarely necessary to help with back pain.



Give us a call to schedule a consultation to discuss your symptoms and health goals and schedule a lab test.