At July’s Cabell Huntington Hospital Senior Services Senior Focus Friday, CHH’s Senior Pain and Wellness Center director Dr. Joe DeLapa gave the packed Huntington Kitchen lunchtime crowd plenty to consider when understanding the causes, remedies and prevention of Back pain. Dr. DeLapa says 85% of Americans experience some form of back pain in their lifetime. Back pain is the second most common reason for doctor visits by seniors.
The most common causes of low back pain include arthritis, degenerative disc disease, disc bulge, compression fracture – and the most common cause – muscle strain.
Treatment options cover the gamut – physical therapy, medication, chiropractic, acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, supplements, heat/ice, TENS unit, surgery and what Dr. DeLapa does most often – interventional pain management consisting of relieving injections. Dr. DeLapa says physical therapy is the number one wellness treatment option.
The keys to preventing back pain include many common sense wellness highlights. Check out a pain relief diet of anti-inflammatory foods and supplements including salmon, turmeric, cherries and cherry juice, ginger, cayenne – and believe it or not – coffee. Couple that diet plan with regular exercise and weight management for the best back pan prevention plan.
You’ve heard it since you were little but we don’t always remember proper lifting techniques – bend with the knees rather than the back when lifting. Dr. DeLapa says getting 7-8 hours of sleep and no smoking also helps increase blood flow to your joints and discs and reduces bad chemical bi-products.
The bottom line for boomers – back pain is common, many non-addictive options exist, there is no quick fix, develop a healthy lifestyle and stay active. For more information on back pain prevention and relief, go to www.marshallhealth.org.