‘80 pc spine problems have simple solutions’

Namrata Devikar
Monday, 27 May 2019

Spine problems in young people between the age of 20 and 40 occur more among the gadget-savvy working professionals, who sit for long hours, making them prone to repetitive stress injuries, said a city-based spine surgeon.

Pune: Spine problems in young people between the age of 20 and 40 occur more among the gadget-savvy working professionals, who sit for long hours, making them prone to repetitive stress injuries, said a city-based spine surgeon. As much as 80 per cent of the spine conditions in young people can be corrected by simple lifestyle modifications such as good nutrition and adequate exercise, added the doctors.

Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) is the pain in muscles, nerves and tendons caused by repetitive movement and overuse. The condition is also known as overuse syndrome, work-related upper limb disorder or non-specific upper limb pain. Dr Rahul Chaudhari from Columbia Asia Hospital said that most of the people in this age group are working professionals, who drive long distances to office and perform most of the jobs sitting for the whole day.

“Professionals work on computer or laptops, sit for long meetings and are active on social media available on their mobiles. Once home, they use gadgets to read books and fall asleep while reading. Such prolonged and abnormal exposure to screens puts unnecessary stress on the spine and makes them susceptible to sprains in the ligaments that bind the vertebra, resulting in muscles becoming sore and increases chances of problems in the disc,” said Chaudhari.

He added that as spine related problems in youth are becoming rampant in India, the doctors opine that most of the issues occur due to the dual burden of long sitting hours and abnormal use of spine prompted by gadgets.

Chaudhari further added that the spine of a human being is originally designed to support movement and when used, spine remains healthy.

“The problem in today’s youth is due to inactivity of the spine and excessive dependence on and use of 
gadgets.  

The most common problem seen in young people are related to cervical spine and backbone - slip discs, repetitive stress injuries, sore back and ligament injuries. In past two years, I have received 50 to 60 patients per month, who are below 40 but have serious spine conditions and repetitive stress injury, which is the most common condition,” said Dr Chaudhari.

He added that the most important step is to identify the problem in time, which lowers the need of medical or surgical intervention and can be treated with simple lifestyle modification such as good, nutritious food, moderate exercise and reducing sitting time by taking a short walk at regular intervals.

Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Amit Kale, Orthopaedist from Sassoon General Hospital, said that there is an increase in younger people with spine issues.

“Spine issues are more common among people who have a sitting job for long hours. One should sit straight while working, where the spine is at 90 degrees with the legs and the screen should be at the level of the eye. After an hour or so, one should indulge in stretching to relax. Proper diet and exercise is always advised,” said Kale.

Some plain facts

  • As much as 80 per cent of the spine conditions in young people can be corrected by simple lifestyle modifications, say the doctors.
  • The doctors opine that most of the issues occur due to the dual burden of long sitting hours and abnormal use of spine prompted by gadgets.
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