For the last 30 years I've been serving the Santa Cruz community to support people in relieving musculoskeletal pain and/or limited function. This includes relieving back, neck, shoulder, hip and knee pain to restore normal function. Additionally, I treat patients with headaches/migraines, vertigo, balance issues, and symptoms related to mild TBI; as well as helping you to improve your "game".

As a D.O. I have an empathic approach to medicine. Rather than just treating your symptoms, I also focus on prevention by gaining a deeper understanding of your lifestyle and environment and the movement you desire for all the activities in your life.

My goal is to diagnose, treat and prevent illness and injury. I specialize in the use of osteopathic manual medicine, the latest science and technology in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation while in the treatment of spine, joint & sports injuries. In addition to working directly with me you have access to my extensive network of trusted surgeons, internists, physical therapists, acupuncturists, nutritionists, and psychotherapists to support you in finding long-term relief.

I've been utilizing non-surgical spinal decompression therapy since 1997 and Class 4 Medical Laser Therapy for 10 years.

In Network for many Health Insurance Plans. Courtesy billing for all others.


Maximizing Movement

After a thorough evaluation and establishing a diagnosis, every effort is made to restore mobility and function through Osteopathic Manual Medicine, appropriate modalities to reduce inflammation and pain, specialized exercises, and referral to appropriate specialists if necessary. Our patients typically find their movement is restored without needing surgery. If surgery is suggested, Dr. Bernstein will recommend the right surgeon for you and stay closely involved to provide quality of care before and after.

Quality of Life Improvement

Chronic pain and movement limitation mean that you enjoy your life less. We talk about what you want to be able to do physically, find what is wrong and  then help you heal your body so you can live your fullest life.


"Dr. Richard Bernstein (lovingly called Dr. B by both his patients and his staff) is an exceptional doctor. He is very intuitive, patient and spends a significant amount of time working with those in his care.  I came in with a tremendous amount of pain and very limited movement in my right shoulder ~ 3 years ago. He made adjustments for immediate pain relief and implemented a plan to bring back full range of motion and a pain free life."- Aletha W.

"I went to Dr Bernstein with debilitating low back pain caused by an accident.  I was helped greatly in the very first session. He manner is very professional, friendly, and direct. He is extremely knowledgable and confident and also very gentle, a hard combination to find. I knew immediately he was going to be able to help me and he did!  I had sessions of  masterful hands on treatment as well as traction sessions on his spinemed table. These sessions together helped me walk freely again. He is a great investigator and a great doctor." - Laura R

"Dr Bernstein is an amazing doctor. I saw him last year when I was suffering from neck pain  for almost 4 years and I went to all the different doctors and many physical therapy sessions and injections. He helped me to get better. I felt normal again and improved my sleep and my life.  I recommend him to everyone." - Ellie A