According to experts, roughly 80% of all people have experienced back pain or neck pain at some point in their lives. Apparently, this is also often quoted as the top reason for sick leaves taken at work. However, rarely are such aches and pains taken seriously.
Many a time, people brush such pains aside by resting their backs momentarily or by applying a simple muscle relaxant. But little do they know that these pains might become a recurring phenomenon, if certain lifestyle habits and posture-related activities are not addressed in time, and in the correct manner. Here are some of the most common causes for back problems:
Texting: There has been a sharp increase in the number of youngsters developing musculoskeletal problems — or ‘text neck’ — as a result of the long hours they spend on their smartphones or tablets, and as a result, keeping their necks bent downward.
Smoking: Smoking is known to strengthen the connection between two parts of the brain that convert temporary pain into chronic pain. This means that a tobacco habit can triple your risk of suffering from back pain.
Posture: Maintaining a bad posture while sitting and standing, especially during long hours of commute (in flights, cars, crowded trains) or even while sitting in office, can also trigger back and neck aches. Your posture when you sleep creates a big difference too. Sleeping on your back (and not on your sides or stomach) is considered ideal, according to experts.
Obesity: To compensate for that extra body weight, an obese person’s spine can become tilted. As a result, over time, the back may lose support and develop an unnatural spinal curvature.
Ahead of World Spine Day (October 16), we get experts to suggest a few easy-to-do exercises that can help strengthen one’s spine and prevent back aches.
— With inputs from Dr Abhay Nene, consultant spine surgeon, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai Central; and Dr Charu Dhyani, senior spine specialist, Qi Spine Clinic