Doctores: Why and how you need to take care of your spine


Working late in office almost every day, driving home through pothole-ridden, traffic-congested roads and then sitting in front of a laptop for several hours. This is the routine 36-year-old Vipul Sharma (name changed) has been following five days a week for the past 10 years until his back and right leg gave up few months back.
The situation worsened with stiffness in lower back and radiating pain in the right leg, soon the analgesics, which had been keeping him upright for work for quite some time, also became futile. After switching two doctors and multiple therapy trials, Vipul was finally diagnosed with a herniated disc — a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (disks) between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make the spine.
“Although herniations often result from jobs that require lifting, it is often noticed in people with sedentary jobs. It is a difficult problem from a diagnostic perspective as patients come with vague symptoms like that of chronic back ache and those disguised of sciatica. As such, awareness around this condition could save patient from further complications,” Dr Ketan Khurjekar, Chief Spine Surgeon at Sancheti Hospital said.

October 16 is observed as World Spine Day and the theme this year is ‘Straighten up and move’. Various programmes were held in the city on the occasion to raise awareness about spinal disorders. Lower back pain, neck pain, scoliosis and disc-related problems can have a profound effect on a person’s overall health, preventing them from even performing daily activities, doctors said.
Strength in back is rendered by calcium-densed vertebrae and toned paraspinal muscles. If you lose either, the back pain will start. Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disease, characterised by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration of the bone tissue, leading to enhanced bone fragility and a consequent increase in fracture risk. Khurjekar said they have corrected at least 300 spinal deformities over the last five years.
Spine specialists stress on the importance of seeing experts. At the newly-launched Spine Clinic at Ruby Hall Clinic, Wanowrie, which has diagnostic facilities like MRI, CT scan and digital x-rays, Consultant Spine Surgeon Dr Hrushikesh Mehata said that neck and back pain is common, especially among white-collar professionals who spend over eight to ten hours in front of the computer. Living in constant pain for an extended period of time can have a devastating impact on the quality of life for many patients. Here, we stress on the practice of ergonomics which emphasises the right way of doing daily activities like sitting, standing, sleeping, bending, lifting with proper posture, the doctor said.

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