Prolonged working on the computer, prolonged sedentary posture and bad posture while sleeping and sitting, persistent standing or walking, are some of the common causes of back pain, observed experts during a series of webinars on spine, backache and physiotherapy, hosted by the Medica Group of Hospitals, eastern India's largest private hospital chain. The webinars aimed to spread valuable and accurate medical information to patients through their weekly series of 'health is the ultimate wealth.'
Dr. L.N. Tripathy, senior vice chairman, director and senior consultant, department of lower back pain, neurosurgery, at Medica said, "People with deficiencies are more likely to experience back pain. Calcium supplements as well as sunlight and milk are recommended for people prone to back pains. Post-menopausal women are at an elevated risk for back pain". "Furthermore, disc prolapse is a serious condition that should not be overlooked. It is extremely painful and can lead to a loss of control over stool passing, among other issues. It can be improved with the help of medicine and physiotherapy," Dr. Tripathy said.
"If preventive measures are taken, visible improvements in chronic back and neck pain can be noticed. Especially in the age of remote, work-from-home conditions, professionals must ensure that they take precautionary measures through their work setup and practices to avoid chronic back pain. Leaning towards the computer or workstation at an angle of less than 70° or at 90° is harmful as it will create tension on the back. Sitting at an angle of 125° or more is recommended to be able to avoid chronic back pain. Experts also suggest the use of ergonomic chairs," he added.
Dr. Tripathy began the session by giving the audience a preliminary anatomical lesson on the parts of the spine and back, starting just below the neck and continuing all the way to the tailbone. He also identified the most common causes of back pain.
Dr L.N. Tripathy, senior vice chairman, director and senior consultant, department of lower back pain, neurosurgery, at Medica said, "People with deficiencies are more likely to experience back pain."Apart from bad posture, unaccustomed weightlifting and sudden lifting can cause slip disc. Repeated forward bending, sudden jerks while getting up or travelling can cause back pain. People suffering from obesity are also at risk," he said.
Lack of relaxation and physical exercise - housework is not enough exercise, and outdoor activity is necessary. Flexibility will depend on how often you exercise. Range of motion is dependent on age and flexibility.
In agreement with Dr. Tripathy, Sumit Kumar, physiotherapy expert, stated, "The most common types of pain in the back are experienced in the neck and the lower back. It is because people use these two points more than the others, and these parts of our bodies are subjected to more wear and tear. Often due to unhealthy body weight, excessive pressure is put on the lower back. A phenomenon called 'referred low back pain' causes the pain to radiate down to the groin, buttocks, back, and side of the thighs and sometimes on the calves. Chronic pain is often seen in professionals who do not take exercise breaks or use effective furniture to ease the stress of working for hours."
"Patients whose conditions do not require a medicinal or surgical change can benefit from physiotherapy through alignment, range of motion, tissue mobility, strength, and length of muscle assessments. New techniques such as IFT, tens, traction, laser therapy, Kinesio taping, cupping therapy, dry needling, and trigger point release have elevated the effectiveness of physiotherapy to new heights. In case of neck spasms, rest and a moist hot bag, instead of dry heat packs are highly recommended. When warm water is used as a conduction medium in hot bags, the heat properly penetrates the layers of the muscles to cause relaxation and pain relief", Sumit Kumar said.