Medica clinicians explain physiotherapy for treating back pain caused by WFH

Medica Group of Hospitals hosted a series of online webinars on spine and back pain, as well as backache and physiotherapy, at its flagship Medica Superspecialty Hospital in Kolkata, to spread valuable and accurate medical information to patients through their weekly series of ‘health is the ultimate wealth’.

Dr Alok Roy, chairman of the Medica Group of Hospitals, hosted the webinar with Dr LN Tripathy, senior vice chairman, director & senior consultant, dept of lower back pain, neurosurgery, and Sumit Kumar, physiotherapy expert, which covered backache and physiotherapy in detail.

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 tail bone. Tripathy identified the following as the most common causes of back pain:

  • Bad posture: Prolonged working on the computer, prolonged sedentary posture, bad posture while sleeping and sitting, persistent standing or walking.
  • Unaccustomed weightlifting: If one is not in the practice of safely lifting weights, any sudden lifting can cause slip disc, leading to loss of bladder control and genitals.
  • Repeated forward bending: Sudden jerks while getting up or traveling. It often happens to surgeons who attend the surgery for long hours. People suffering from obesity are also at risk.
  • Lack of relaxation & 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.

“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,” 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.

In agreement with Dr Tripathy, Sumit Kumar, 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,” he added.

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