What to do about back pain

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What to do about back pain? This was the message from Dr. Warwick Selvey to the Pattaya City Expats Club at their Sunday, March 2, meeting. He retired from chiropractic after 48 years of full time practice in Australia. In addition to his long medical career, he is also a former Olympic athlete who competed in the shot put and discus events. Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warwick_Selvey for more on his athletic accomplishments. Warwick is also an avid singer and is currently working with fellow PCEC member Roger Fox to form a barbershop quartet singing group. He has been enjoying retired life in Pattaya for the last nine months.

Warwick might never have become a chiropractor if, several decades ago, he hadn’t hurt his foot so badly he couldn’t walk; which was a major problem as he was getting ready for the Tokyo Olympics. He told the story about how he went to several doctors. None of them had any idea what was wrong, but all of them wanted to operate anyhow. Further he tried a sports doctor but did not fare any better. On the advice of a family member, he tried an osteopath. Warwick said that his foot started feeling better after two treatments and that within two weeks, he was walking again. It was this experience that made him decide to become a chiropractor.

Sartorially elegant in his Bondi Beach T-shirt and Guinness cap, board member Roy introduces the Open Forum with a reminder that St Patrick’s Day is on the 17th of March, and to join the March! Assemble at Alcazar 2nd Rd 2pm.Sartorially elegant in his Bondi Beach T-shirt and Guinness cap, board member Roy introduces the Open Forum with a reminder that St Patrick’s Day is on the 17th of March, and to join the March! Assemble at Alcazar 2nd Rd 2pm.

He began practicing in 1965 and graduated at the Sydney College of Chiropractic & Osteopathy in 1969 and at “Acupuncture Colleges Of Australia” in 1971.

Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuro-musculoskeletal complaints including, but not limited to, back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.

When people have back pain, Warwick said, they have to decide: Should I treat it myself? Should I go to a general practitioner? A chiropractor? An osteopath? Warwick explained that osteopaths and chiropractors do similar work, but that osteopaths tend to work more on the muscles than chiropractors. Warwick mentioned that back pain is the most common reason people see a chiropractic practitioner. Causes of back pain include arthritis, being overweight, overusing the back, bad posture, certain medicines, and poor fitness. If you have back pain and cannot get comfortable, Warwick advises you to get an X-ray; a chiropractor is more likely than a doctor to spot something amiss in the X-ray. However, he added, X-rays don’t always reveal the problem.

Ways to treat back pain include rest; swimming; walking (including sideways); lying on your back on a bed with your head hanging over the side in a stretching posture; losing weight; and having someone dig their fingers into your lower back muscles. Squatting like a weight lifter also helps, as do sit-ups.

Warwick explained that neck pain has a lot to do with back pain. A good chiropractor will adjust the neck, the middle back and the lower back, he said. There are devices that can be used to help treat back pain, such as rollers and braces. He said that there are things people can do to prevent back pain, including eating healthy foods such as green tea, turmeric, broccoli, selenium, seaweed, sprouts, apples, almonds, avocados, garlic, onion flaxseed oil, watermelon, brown rice, uncooked fat, olive oil, papaya, walnuts, beetroot, and lamb (in preference to beef).

Warwick demonstrates exercises to increase their fitness and flexibility, & help to ward off the maladies of old age.Warwick demonstrates exercises to increase their fitness and flexibility, & help to ward off the maladies of old age.

Warwick advises people to exercise twice a day; once a day is not enough, he said. The best exercise is swimming. Next best is walking. Gym machines, like the leg press, are also good. Warwick sprinkled his talk with some comments and advice on staying healthy. Here are some examples: (1) Three meals a day is too much unless your body is working hard – best time to have your meals is 11am and 4 pm and there should be at least four hours between meals; (2) Fasting can save your life as it helps your body preserve energy, and gives organs a chance to heal; (3) If you are over 65, you are not getting any Vitamin D from the sun and need a supplement; (4) Thai massage can help a sore back, but get the masseur to work on the problem areas; (5) Sitting for long stretches is one of the leading causes of disease – Get up and walk around at regular intervals; and sea salt is better than regular salt because of the minerals it contains.

Dr Warwick Selvey, a chiropractor with 48 years of experience in his native Australia, was PCEC’s guest speaker for March 2nd.Dr Warwick Selvey, a chiropractor with 48 years of experience in his native Australia, was PCEC’s guest speaker for March 2nd.

After Warwick answered several questions from the audience, Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg brought everyone up to date on current events and called on Roy Albiston to conduct the always interesting Open Forum where questions are asked and answered about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya.

For more information on the Pattaya City Expats Club and their many activities, visit their website at www.pcecclub.org.

(Pictures by Urasin Khantaraphan.)