dr  Zac Turner on treating joint and back pain

It’s a problem that millions of Aussies have faced and it can be easily alleviated. But it can also be a sign of something more sinister.

Welcome to Ask Doctor Zac, a weekly column for news.com.au. This week, Dr. Zac Turner on how to help stop joint and back pain.

Question: Hello Dr. Zac, help, I’m getting old! OK I’m only 39 but I’m noticing my body isn’t behaving like it used to. You should hear my knees every time I get up – they sound very crunchy. And my lower back pain can be unbearable at times. Ahh, the joys of being a trader since I was 16.

Is there a medical grade WD-40 for my knees and back? This year I’ll be turning the big 4-0 and I’m very interested in learning more about relieving pain and prolonging the use of my back and knees for as long as possible. – Warwick, Darwin

Answer: The early bird catches the worm, Warwick – live by those words. I applaud you for being proactive about your health. The work you put in now will always pay off in the future. And it doesn’t always have to be such a long time frame. Now have a glass of water and spend an hour outside with no screen time – you’ll feel great for the rest of the day.

There are definitely some tips and tricks from Dr. Zac to relieve your joint and back pain, but I have to recommend that you see your doctor if the pain persists and gets worse. Often times, this pain is a warning sign of something more serious going on in your body.

Are you listening to your body, are you creaking like old floorboards from sitting all day, or is your body trying to tell you something?

What is a joint?

It is a part of the body where two or more bones meet to allow movement. Every bone in your body has a friend and meets another bone. The only Nigel No Friends bone in your body is the hyoid bone in your throat.

Your body spends a lot of time and energy keeping these joints lubricated. Just as door hinges need a spray of WD-40 every now and then, your joints need a powerful spray every day to keep up.

A common joint pain is arthritis, an inflammation of the joint that causes stiffness and pain. As you age, your joints become overworked and inflamed, so you need to make sure you’re proactively prolonging this for as long as possible.

neck pain

Neck pain is a fairly common joint pain that my patients present to me. The solutions to this can be quite simple. One is to apply moist heat to the painful area, which is most likely the joint at the base of your neck that connects your spine to your heavy head. This can be a towel dipped in warm water.

You can also try sleeping with a very thin pillow or none at all. Let your neck joint rest in its natural position when you sleep. Another good tip is to sleep with a pillow between your knees, as this will help discourage stomach sleepers from burying themselves face into their pillow all night and will improve circulation.

elbow pain

For tennis elbow, you can also use warm heat. When doing exercises to prevent pain, straighten your elbow, e.g. B. by pushing objects or raising your arms towards the ceiling.

one of dr Zac’s recommended exercise would be to stand facing the wall and hold a light weight or medicine ball. Squat down and continue the movement as you rise by stretching your arms towards the ceiling. Incorporate this into your regular training regimen and you’ll have arms as strong as Popeye’s.

hip and knee pain

Perhaps the two most important joints in your body to pay attention to. Both are essential for comfortable movement.

For your hip pain, a simple daily exercise can be to lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. While engaging your core and glutes, lift your hips three to five inches off the floor and hold them for about five seconds (ten if you can keep up!). Repeat this exercise about ten times and try to do it daily.

After your hip exercises, remain on the floor and keep one knee upright and bent and the other straight on the floor. Raise your straight knee to the level of your bent knee and slowly lower it. Repeat this daily and around ten times for both knees.

back pain

Around four million Aussies have back problems, which is amazing because the back is so important. We all need to take care of ourselves and perform a handful of daily habits to avoid this problem.

The first rule of the No Back Pain Club is: stay active! Keep your body moving and try not to stay in the same position for a long time. If you work at a desk, get up every hour and do a stretch.

Abdominal exercises help keep your core strong. By having a strong core, you relieve your back from carrying the entire weight of your body. Try your hand at some yoga classes, it’s a great way to build strength and flexibility.

Eat it every day – it’s lube for your joints

Keep healthy levels of vitamin D, magnesium and calcium flowing through your body. In unison, these will work together to keep you healthy. Don’t go out and buy supplements, just eat avocado on toast with pumpkin seeds (rich in magnesium), baby spinach and feta (rich in calcium). And eat it outside in the sun to get vitamin D.

Sit on the floor while watching TV

Finally, swap out your chair or sofa for a pillow on the floor when you’re relaxing next week as it will encourage better posture and why not add some comfortable stretches to your TV time.

Take care, Warwick, and stay proactive about the future of your health!

dr Zac Turner holds a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Sydney. He is both a doctor and co-owner of the telemedicine service Concierge Doctors. He was also a registered nurse and is also a qualified and experienced biomedical scientist and a graduate student in biomedical engineering.

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