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:
- sharp movements such as bending or turning
- lifting heavy objects
- virus infection
How to cure?
In case of pain, we, doctors usually prescribe one of three methods or combination of:
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.
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?
*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.