Ask the Doctor: How to Prevent Back Pain

What are the causes of lower back pain? What is the best back pain treatment? How to prevent back pain? Everyone is searching for credible sources to find out. Although we are cynical about insurance companies and pharmacists, we still believe in physicians. That’s why we interviewed a doctor. Volodymyr Semenyuk, a neurologist of the higher category, with 31 years of practice, answers medical questions regarding back pain and related matters*.

What is a degenerative disc disease?  

The degenerative disc disease is a term used to describe the normal changes in our spine as we age. So, it is a natural process of aging, the price we all pay for being Homo erectus. All humans have this condition. Puppies and kittens do not have it, however. The good news is that it is in our control to delay it or make it occur faster.

Could we avoid it somehow?

No, we can’t. However, we can speed it up or delay.

How can we get it faster?

It’s simple physics: the biggest tension on our spine happens while sitting. More sitting – more risk. Therefore, we can accelerate degenerative disc disease with diligent studying in school, or if we got extremely lucky – with music school classes. Additionally, for girls, the risk factor is sport gymnastic classes that are result-oriented, and the dance classes with extreme discipline. For boys, it is weightlifting in teens.

How can the degenerative disc disease be delayed?

By idleness and taking swimming classes.

So, does the degenerative disc disease cause back pain? 

No, the degenerative disc disease itself does not cause any back pain. However, if you have it already, five causes that can trigger sudden pain include:

  1. sharp movements such as bending or turning
  2. lifting heavy objects
  3. undercooling
  4. virus infection
  5. stress
Ask the Doctor: How to Prevent Back Pain - at
In case of back pain doctors usually prescribe injections and pills

How to cure? 

In case of pain, we, doctors usually prescribe one of three methods or combination of:

  1. injections
  2. pills
  3. physiotherapy

Moreover, we strongly recommend avoiding the factors that provoke pain, mentioned above, from now on.

What can we do to prevent the degenerative disc disease?  Could you recommend any daily habits to keep back pain away?

There are a few rules of thumb here:

1. Buy a medium firm orthopedic mattress; it is imperative. You can follow all other recommendations, but it is not worth it if you do not have a proper mattress. A good orthopedic option complements your sleeping style and supports your spine in a right way.

2. Do gymnastics for strengthening long spinal muscles: the complex of exercises for creating strong muscle core. Moreover, you should do it every day, at least, 15 minutes. Ideally – 2 times a day, before and after work.

Ask the Doctor: How to Prevent Back Pain - at
The complex of exercises for creating strong muscle core is crucial for back health

3. Take swimming classes. The physiology of swimming is the same as of gymnastics for the spine. Swimming is an ideal exercise because it exercises all your back muscles in a safe, supportive environment. The water supports your weight well, which means that there’s less weight on your back.

4. Finally, you can choose to do gymnastics for lazy people – massage– 2-3 courses per year. Massage warms up muscles near spinal column for better blood flow. For longevity purposes, you should take a conventional massage, not anti-cellulite or something fancy like that.

What would be your recommendation for health care? 

Disease prevention!

*Please keep in mind that without seeing you and examining you, the doctor cannot make accurate diagnoses and recommendations. The suggestions given in this post are for general information only.

4 thoughts on “Ask the Doctor: How to Prevent Back Pain

  • As a retired chiropractic physician, I could right a 10 page response to many of the statements and recommendations, however, to keep it short, I will say that degenerative disc disease is COMMON, but not NORMAL or INEVITABLE. It is commonly the result of abnormal biomechanics (if not caused by acute traumatic onset) that remain UNADDRESSED as the eventual symptoms (inflammation and pain) are treated my medical physicians with pain meds, muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories. Treating these symptoms (by themself) without correcting the UNDERLYING CAUSES allows degeneration to progress. It should also be noted that stetching, strength training and other rehab protocols could exaccerbate this condition IF normal joint function and range of motion is not CORRECTED FIRST!

    This is just one reason evaluation by a good chiropractic physician is so important. Health is NOT simply about reducing pain and discomfort; it is about proactively providing the body the assistance needed to maximize HEALTHY FUNCTION. This includes chiropractic care, exercise, proper nutrition, stress reduction, proper hydration, mental balance, social interactions and adequate restful sleep. Combine these different components and you will see that degenerative disc disease is NOT INEVITABLE.


      • Absolutely. Often there are many methods to address various health problems. For some reason, we have forgotten this and falsely believe our options come down to 1 choice. The BEST option is the one the consumer researches and decides fits their needs most appropriately. This means the same diagnosis can SUCCESSFULLY be addressed using multiple therapeutic approaches provided by doctors using multiple disciplines.


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