Back Pain Specialist

Avaya Wellness Center

Tirtha Mendake, L.Ac, D.C, M.S

Acupuncturist & Herbalist located in SoMa, San Francisco, CA

Residents of San Francisco, California who suffer from back pain benefit from the wide range of conventional and alternative therapies including chiropractic, acupuncture, yoga, herbalism and traditional Chinese medicine provided by Dr. Mendake at her practice, Avaya Wellness Center located in the SoMa neighborhood.

Back Pain Q & A

Why Do I Have Back Pain?

Back pain can result from any number of things. If you have poor posture, your muscles can become strained and tight, which causes pain and spasm. Improper lifting techniques stress the lower back and can result in pain. An injury, like a fall or automobile accident, can cause pain anywhere in the spine. As people age, the cartilage that cushions individual bones in the spine can wear thin and put pressure on the nerves.

What Treatments Are Effective for Back Pain?

The treatment of back pain is highly individualized. Exercise and physical therapy can help correct poor posture and strengthen the back and abdominal muscles. Yoga can also strengthen muscles and promote relaxation. Acupuncture is effective for lower back pain for many people. Conventional medications may be helpful, although they often have undesirable side effects. Even lifestyle changes can help -- for example, smoking tends to make pain worse, probably because it affects circulation.

Will I Need Surgery?

If you have an acute injury like a ruptured disc (the cartilage between bones in the spine), surgery may relieve your pain, especially if the disc is pressing on a nerve root. However, a number of research studies indicate that in many cases of chronic back pain, conservative therapies that include exercise, muscle strengthening and stretching, yoga, and other non-invasive techniques are just as effective over the long run. It's important to discuss all your options with your doctor.

How Can I Protect My Back?

The most important things you can do for your back are to use good posture, keep your muscles strong and flexible, and practice safe lifting techniques. Your posture affects the structure of your entire body, not just your back, and poor posture can put a great deal of stress on the musculoskeletal system. Muscles, ligaments, and tendons support the skeletal system; they must be strong enough to handle daily stresses and flexible enough to stretch rather than spasm or tear. Use the large muscles in your legs or equipment to take the load instead of your spine and help protect your back from lifting injuries.

Major Insurance Providers Accepted

At Avaya Wellness Center, we accept most insurance plans. We accept United health care, Aetna and Blue Shield PPO plans. We are in network for Cigna and Blue Shield. If you don’t see your insurance on the list, we are happy to check your benefits for you. Please enter your insurance information in the online request for appointment to get details on your benefits.

Blue Shield of California
Cigna
Corvel
Coventry
HealthSmart
Prime Health Services
USAA