October 16th is celebrated as "World Spine Day" as a part of awareness on spinal pain and disability around the world every year. This will urge people to adopt healthy habits to make their spine strong, active and flexible.
Although our lives have been radically changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, back and neck issues are still as popular as ever. Owing to the coronavirus and its social constraints, many of us are going to be stuck with the work-from-home scenario for a little longer than we planned and due to the lack of a dedicated workstation most of us now end up lounging whenever we find space at home.
Therefore, not only does a lack of physical activity lead to our laziness, but it will also end up hurting our spine!
The theme of this year has been appropriately retained as "Back on Track," which urges individuals to reactivate and revitalise their bodies. And watch out for issues that will occur if one does not take care of their spine and back.
Being in the workplace meant we could walk around a little bit, whether it was a visit to the cafeteria or colleague's desk. Our posture will be relaxed with appropriate chairs and equipment, but all that might not be possible when working from home.
Bad ergonomics, a sedentary lifestyle, bad sitting postures, and being physically inactive are usually common causes for spinal and back disorders during homework. Working on laptops while lying down without much movement can also cause spinal problems while at home because there is a lot of strain on the back muscles and spinal discs. Slouched positions can stretch the spinal ligaments and, if untreated, straining the spinal discs can cause intense pain and other serious complications.
Pay attention to ‘early’ warning signs:
The spine is a weight-bearing structure that is eventually subjected to regular wear and tears and it is common for degenerative changes to occur as we age. However, if any spinal injury may be diagnosed early, it is possible to take sufficient preventive and corrective steps to avoid the severity of the injury and ultimately prevent a major surgical operation.
If you have chronic or recurrent back/neck pain, radiating pain in the limbs, numbness or weakness in the extremities, trouble walking long distances or imbalance while walking, etc, it should not be neglected and to assess it at the earliest. Seek medical help from the Best Spine Surgeons in Bangalore for your spine care.
Steps to manage a healthy spine in the long run:
Given all these factors, some immediate and long-term steps should be taken to ensure a safe spine: Avoid jerks and extremes of bending and twisting, Maintain a good posture, share work and take breaks regularly, keep walking and exercising every day and concentrate on stretches and less on weights, get good exposure to sunlight for good vitamin D, maintain a balanced diet rich in proteins as well as salads and fruits, and prevent weight gain.
Patients should indulge in regular physical exercise to keep their back and neck healthy during the pandemic, which helps preserve fitness and strengthens the muscles of the back. During the pandemic, physical therapy may be limited, so people can follow exercises that are found on the internet, such as Pilates, yoga, or cardio workouts. One may also use elastic bands, hand weights, and/or do isometric exercises, such as planks or squats, to keep fit. As inactivity can weaken the muscles that support the spine, it is important to avoid becoming sedentary for long periods. Maintaining a wrong posture can cause pain in the back or neck or intensify an underlying spine injury. Besides, in the middle, take frequent breaks and stretch to keep back spasm at bay.
Daily exercise will provide a framework for the day and break the monotony of being at home for an extended period. Physical exercise gives you a good outlook as you navigate this tough time. By knowing and respecting one's limits, it is vital to keep the spine safe. The best thing is not to do things that the body can't handle.
Non-surgical options are important:
At least once a patient has exhausted non-surgical options, it is best not to operate because nearly 90 percent of patients with back and neck pain will not need spine surgery. It is advisable to take anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy, pain management, and care from a physiatrist. After physical therapy, most patients recover, but if a patient returns with recurrent symptoms, such as pain with weakness, gait issues, or bowel or bladder function difficulties, surgery may be an option.
When is spine surgery required?
Surgery is recommended only if, for six weeks or longer, a patient has experienced symptoms. Similarly, severe cases of herniation of the disc that may be at risk of paralysis and severe conditions are surgically corrected. To get back to normalcy quickly, care is best taken from a multidisciplinary team comprising surgeons, physiatrists, physical therapists, and pain specialists.
It is also important for those who work in an office to customize your workspace to prevent muscle imbalances and repetitive injuries. It is best to seek consultation from a spine expert who has given up an important activity due to back problems. The limitations on lockdown do not have to mean that our spines are struggling and a little care will help you create the correct posture.