Braving disc derangement, 54-yr-old to run half marathon

Namrata Devikar
Thursday, 17 January 2019

Dr Rajpreet Bindra, a spine specialist at QI Spine Clinic, who treated him, said that in Dinesh’s case, his excessive travel schedule and wrong sitting posture caused a back pain so acute that he couldn’t sit, stand or walk without experiencing radiating pain.

Pune: There’s nothing stopping 54-year-old fitness enthusiast Dinesh Sharma, who was earlier diagnosed with disc derangement. He will be participating in the Mumbai half marathon on January 20. 

Sharma suffered disc derangement two years ago and was not involved in any sports activities or exercises.

Dr Rajpreet Bindra, a spine specialist at QI Spine Clinic, who treated him, said that in Dinesh’s case, his excessive travel schedule and wrong sitting posture caused a back pain so acute that he couldn’t sit, stand or walk without experiencing radiating pain.

Disc derangement occurs due to abnormal pressure on the disc and the nerves, weak core muscles, and the inability of the spine to take on excessive load.

He shared that running a marathon is possible if the patient works out as the doctors suggest. 

“After undergoing a six-week therapy session at the hospital, Dinesh was not only back to normal, but ran his first full marathon within one year. He has completed 15 marathons since then. However, he went back to QI Spine Clinic twice in 2017 and 2018 for follow-ups,” said Dr Bindra. 

“Disc derangement is very common amongst Indians with a history of back pain. Such patients participating in a marathon is a rare feat. Dinesh took his first spine rehabilitation programme very seriously in 2016. He was given intensive core strengthening and training exercises which helped him win over his condition,” added Dr Bindra. 

Speaking about why marathon runners need to build themselves for long and slow endurance, Dr Manisha Moorjani, a senior spine specialist at QI Spine Clinic said that running is an aerobic activity and does not involve explosiveness or power like in sprinting.

“It’s only as simple as ‘run as long as you can’. Also, the right posture and strengthening the core stability muscles of the spine. A strong balanced core can help make your running faster and more efficient. Core exercises with holds/counts that target your lower abdomen and back muscles should be the area of focus,” said Dr Moorjani.

Echoing similar sentiments, Dr Rishita Shah, senior spine specialist shared that pre-run warm up and post-run cooling down stretches are both equally important to relieve excess pressure in your spine muscles. This will reduce the risk of a spine or sports injury, added the doctor.

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