Helping patients stay pain-free through an integrated approach – By Dr. Mikhail Burdman

There’s no denying we’re in the middle of a major opioid crisis today. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates more than 115 Americans die every day from opioid overdose.

For the most part, we can trace this issue back to the late 1990s, when physicians first started prescribing these pain medications. Unfortunately, most did not realize their addictive properties at that time.

And throughout the years, many physicians became increasingly reliant on pain medications as a go-to tool to quickly get patients out of pain and increase the number of patients leaving their offices [at least temporarily] satisfied.

We now know that prescribing opioids often does more harm than good. Patients can become hyper-sensitive to pain and in the long run, require more drugs to be pain-free. Further, pain medication is often a short-term solution leading to a long-term issue.

We know that chiropractic can help many of those suffering from chronic pain, but frankly, it’s not as simple as saying that’s the solution to the opioid crisis.

What about the patients who are already addicted to prescription medications?

When I graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic West in 2012, I wasn’t sure where my path in practice would lead. But after returning home to Baltimore and working with other practitioners in the area, I saw a large need for a clinic that offered a safer path to pain management.

Patients shouldn’t have to choose sides between medical pain management and chiropractic – there are a number of patients interested in both, especially those who are already on pain medication. They need a clinic that helps them transition off high-dose medications and incorporates alternative therapies, like chiropractic and physical therapy, to help them begin to rebuild their strength and range of motion, and decrease aggravating factors.

Patients also deserve a clinic where all of this is done in one place, both for the convenience of making it to their appointments, but also, and more importantly, a place where their practitioners were all truly on the same team.

After realizing there was such a need for this unique, more integrated approach, I set out on building my practice, The Pain Doctors. We’re an interventional pain management clinic made up of medical doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists working together to get patients out of pain quickly, effectively, and most importantly, safely. We use the latest technology and medical advancements to provide patients with the best services to treat their pain.

Dr. Burdman in front of X-ray machine.

Dr. Burdman at his practice, The Pain Doctors, in Baltimore, Md.

It’s now been two years since we’ve opened our doors and we’re proud to say that we’ve been able to help an incredible number of patients in Baltimore become less dependent on their pain medications – something many of them didn’t think possible after consistent use for years!

It is my hope that more practitioners see the need for this integrated model in their own neighborhoods and we can all work together to help patients work to lead pain-free and drug-free lives in a safe manner.

If you’re interested in learning more about interventional pain management practices like mine, whether you’re a current student or have already graduated, I’d be happy to talk with you more about my journey and plans for the future. Feel free to contact me through my website at www.thepaindrs.com.

About Dr. Burdman: Mikhail Burdman, D.C., is the director of The Pain Doctors of Baltimore, Md. He works closely with his team of medical doctors, mental health counselors and therapists to provide patients with safe and effective treatment plans to reduce their pain and medical dependency.

Prior to his chiropractic career, Dr. Burdman was born in Moldova and came to the United States as a refugee in 1991. He graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County with a degree in biology. He completed an internship at the Naval Air Station in Lemoore, Calif., and went on to graduate from Palmer College of Chiropractic West in 2012. He currently resides in Baltimore, M.D., with his wife and enjoys staying active and spending time with his family and friends.

Advice for chiropractic students: Be open-minded

Palmer alumni offer their advice to chiropractic students on how to achieve success. Do you have advice you’d like to share with current Palmer students or new graduates? Emailminda.powers@palmer.edu.

“Be open-minded, respectful of other opinions, and understand it’s not how great a technique is but it’s about applying the right technique at the right time. Patients don’t care how they get fixed (most of the time). They want you to teach them about what is creating their issues and how you are going to take care of them. I use upper cervical as a primary but utilize all other forms of adjustments as needed for the right presentation of issues.

“So, in short, don’t use a hammer for a screw. Apply your knowledge and the techniques that you learn to properly take care of the issue. Don’t get caught up in the hype of negativity. If you focus on that, you will become that. If there is an opportunity to address something and properly fix it, then go for it. But words without actions produce zero results.

“Learn as much as you can. Even the random stuff they teach [in class] may become useful. I’ve [discovered] cases of severe issues due to the teachings from my professors at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport. We find and fix subluxations, but be ready to answer all questions regarding health because you never know what you will encounter.”

– Brandon Blank, D.C.