Welcome to Dr. Park's blog. 

 

Dr. On Jung Park regularly wrote as part of The Health Column for The Korea Times.

She shared with the audience many self-diagnosis tips and how to help relieve many symptoms.

She wrote about many varieties of topics and suggested treatments for them.

Click on any of the articles below to read more about each topic. 

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I Have Degenerative Spinal Disorder?

Updated: Jul 5, 2018

“You have Degenerative Spinal Disorder.”


Patients’ responses to this news varies. While one may sigh as if the sky is falling, there is another denying angrily, “What? I have Degenerative Spinal disorder? There is no way,” claiming that the patient is fine even after two hours of swimming and and exercising routinely, that there is no possibility for any degenerative disorder.


Many may think degenerative disorder follows after aging; however, rather than age, one’s wrong habits and maintenance are the precipitating factors. Degenerative disc disorder refers to rapid degeneration of the vertebrae and discs that lead to loss of elasticity for shock absorption, and leads to dissipation of moisture, which turns the disc black. These are due to improper posture, stress, heavy drinking, food and other bad habits that weaken the bone.


Vertebrae whose degenerative process has progressed for a long time have developed thorn-like protuberances that compress the nerves, and discs that have lost their function deviate out of place and compress the nerves as well, resulting in inflammation and pain. Spinal stenosis, which rises from degenerative spinal disorder, refers to the narrowing of the space of the spine, the spinal canal, and nerve canal, also known as intervertebral foramen. The lower back and legs may be achy and tingling, and in worse situation, motility may become difficult due to extreme pain.


One important thing that must be addressed is that without breaking usual bad postures and wrong lifestyle, they can affect the the spine, leading up to spinal stenosis. Prevention of degenerative spinal disorder includes avoid carrying heavy objects or excessive use of the low back, which burdens the spine and speeds up the degenerative changes. Proper adjustment of the spinal position and maintenance of body weight are ways to delay degeneration.


Do not neglect chronic pain or frequent stiffness of the neck or low back by thinking they come from old age. Rather, receiving acupuncture treatment, which eliminates inflammation and relaxes coagulated muscles, and taking medication for strengthening of the bone and nerves are important.


The following are stretching exercises for a healthier spine while being seated, and food beneficial for the bones:


First, link both hands together and place them behind your neck while sitting, making sure the neck and body are bending backwards. Hold for fifteen seconds, repeating twice, and this helps relax the back and neck muscles that usually would get tense and worn out easily while sitting down.


Second, rest one leg over the other to form a number “4” while sitting, and slowly lower the body forward. Hold for fifteen seconds, repeat twice on each side. This helps relax the compressed gluteus muscles from having sat down for a long time.



Third, reach your left shoulder with your right hand while sitting properly. Hold onto your stretched right arm with your left hand and press on the shoulder for relief. Open your right hand and rotate the wrist slowly, making sure the right shoulder is not raised up. Hold for fifteen seconds and repeat twice on each side. This helps relief of stress by relaxing the surrounding muscles of the shoulder.


Eating high-calcium content food every meal is beneficial for the strengthening of the bones. Not only do tofu, seaweed, and broccoli have high calcium content for stronger bones, but seaweed has blood-purifying effect, and black beans also purify the blood and move stagnated blood for better blood circulation; therefore, these are effective in alleviating stiffness and pain.


Someone with degenerative spinal disorder cannot get healed with just couple of treatments. What is more important than treatment is prevention, which include posture and habit adjustments, light walking exercise, smoking and alcohol reduction, weight maintenance, healthy dietary plan, repetitive stretching, and more.









Photo Credit(s):

Naver Blog- Narea Medical

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