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. 

  • Dr. Park


Updated: May 24, 2018

Musculoskeletal disorder is a result of repetitive work over time and improper posture, and pain results from progression over time. More than 80% of our country suffer from spinal disorders, but this is not an overstatement; rather, people are just not aware because there is no pain.

I get the most ambiguous questions from patients suffering from severe low back pain, and they include the kind of exercise and whether exercise alone can treat low back pain. It would be great if there is a universal exercise set for low back; however, exercise is relative to location of pain and condition of the patient. It is hard to say that one kind of exercise can help improve low back.

Main causes of low back pain include injury, improper posture from wrong lifestyle habits, degeneration, low back pain post surgery, infection, and many more factors. The mildest symptom is muscle pain, caused by disharmony of muscles. The muscle allows our body to move by repetition of contraction and extension, but overstraining of the muscle or improper contracting and extension due to abrupt motion can cause muscle pain. Overstraining exercise or activity actually worsens pain; therefore, exercise can actually be harmful.

If the low back pain is unbearable to the point it is difficult to move, or the symptoms do not get better after sufficient rest, then you must consult with a specialist and find the root cause of pain. Even though the pain may seem mild, if low back stiffness and heaviness persist for several months or several years, and the pain gets worse, then X-ray or MRI is recommended to determine whether the reason behind is herniated disc or not.

After finding the main reason behind pain and once acupuncture treatment and medicine have alleviated the pain, the next step is exercise for strengthening of muscle and ligament. Exercise fit for you is not only helpful in alleviate pain, but also in preventing relapse.

Exercise beneficial for low back pain fundamentally refers to exercise that alleviates pain. In other words, a good exercise is one that helps the body and low back feel relieved. On the other hand, if pain increases, it is recommended to stop working out and work on treating the pain first.

The following are three stretching exercises for a refreshing morning:

  1. Link both hands and stretch the arms above the head while lying down facing up, and pulling out the toes downward. Lightly move the whole body and legs left and right three to four times. This relaxes the muscles that became stiff while sleeping.

  2. While lying facing up, bend both knees and pull them towards the chest by wrapping the knees with both arms. Hold for fifteen seconds. Be careful not to lift the hip too high.

  3. This stretching exercise relaxes the pelvis. Bend and rest one knee at a right angle while sitting, and straightening the upper half of the body while extending the opposite leg to the back. Push both hands on the floor and bend the pelvis downward for fifteen seconds.

Lifestyle habit that is important for the health of the low back include five-minute stretching every fifty minutes, taking a walk twenty minutes after eating, and one-hour work out three times a week, rather than pushing it all at once.

Published by KoreaTimes under <Health Column> on February 24, 2015.

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