Human life has significantly changed since last couple of decades. Sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity, junk food and inadequate exposure to sunlight has remarkably increased in recent times due to urbanisation and globalisation. In the long run, it takes a heavy toll on our body. Just like any other important organs in our body, spine is also a key part of our body. We rely on our spine to do most of the activities of daily living, if our spine is not in good shape even doing simplest task becomes challenging, writes Dr Sunny Kamat – Spine and Orthopaedic Consultant Surgeon, Manipal Hospital Goa.
Our spine is a complex organ. It is made up of 33 bones which are stack upon each other. In between each vertebrae, lies Intervertebral disk are which functions as shock absorbers. Spinal column protects our neural structures which course through vertebral canal. Our spine is also stabilised by abdominal and back muscles. If any of these structures breaks down then you are bound to get snag in your spine. Pain is in fact a protective mechanism which forces us to slow down so that we don’t further injure our body.
There are numerous situations where we commonly encounter back pain but we usually tend to neglect it. One of them is constant back pain due to bad posture especially at your work place. Studies have shown that the weight on your spine increases to three times in sitting posture and deprives your disks from adequate nutrition, which may still be more if you slouch in your chair. One should invest in good chair with good back and neck support. Your computer or laptop screen should be at your eye level. Make an effort to avoid sitting for too long & take breaks every 30 minutes. Walk around and do some stretching.
Post-partum back pains are pretty common. It’s a common belief that getting a spinal epidural injection will lead to back pain. Studies show that it’s uncommon for an epidural injection to cause long-term or chronic back problems. It’s normal to experience temporary back pain or tenderness at the site of your epidural. This usually goes away within a few days.
Most common cause of post-partum back pain is ligament laxity due to exposure of hormones during pregnancy, laxity of abdominal muscles due to baby bump which eventually puts strains on back muscles as abdominal muscle lose their tone due to the excessive stretch. Ladies should be careful specially while lifting their child, should have adequate nutrition and start doing pelvic and core muscle strengthening exercise as the pain permits.
Aches and pains are quite common in elder adults. Most common reason for this is degenerative changes in spine osteoporosis or weak bones. Doing regular weight bearing exercise such as walking and healthy diet can delay the onset of osteoporosis. Postmenopausal women need to specially take care about restoring calcium content in their bones as they are most vulnerable for fragility fractures as compared to their male counterpart.
The golden question is when we should consult a spine doctor. Any pain not resolving with rest and home remedies, back pain associated with extremity pain, numbness or weakness in extremity or involvement of bower or bladder and lastly if one feels that dexterity is affected. Timely consultation and intervention by a spine surgeon can save you from medical catastrophes.
With time modern medicine has evolved with cutting-edge technology where spinal intervention and surgery have become safer for our patient then what it was in past. Now doctors can perform complex spine surgery with smaller incision with very minimal tissue resection which aids in minimal post-operative pain and rapid recovery. Minimally invasive spine surgery has revolutionised spine surgery and safety of our patient. This Latest technology has helped our patient recover swiftly and reach their pre-injury potential briskly. In this era of fast life, we make sure that our patient resumes their work as soon as possible. On the occasion of Spine Day 2022, let’s pledge that we will take care of us & near and dear ones as every spine counts!