Your lifestyle is taking a toll on your spine

This article has been authored by Dr. Saurabh Rawall, who is a spine surgeon at Jaypee Hospital Noida. He has done his MBBS from AIIMS, New Delhi followed by MS Orthopaedics from AIIMS, New Delhi, India. To know more about Dr. Saurabh Rawal or book an appointment, please call 0120 – 412 2222

Your lifestyle is taking a toll on your spine

At work or at home we find people complaining about back pain and spine related issues. Spine problems have risen in India owing to the hard commuting, siting for long hours, carrying laptop daily to work, wrong posture, inactive lifestyle and lack of appropriate nutrition.

1. Hunchback
A hunchback or hunched back is medically termed kyphosis or hyper-kyphosis. It is an abnormal forward curvature in the upper back. If observed, you might realise that the most common position of our spine throughout the day is either rounded or hunched. Gradually the spine tends to stiffens and it is harder to straighten it. Neck pain after long working hours is a sign of stiffness. Act immediately by consciously correcting your posture or stretch your neck and spine.

2. Slipped disc
Our spinal bones are cushioned by disks which protect the bones against shocks from daily activities like walking, lifting, and twisting. A slipped disk occurs when the soft inner portion of the disk juts out through the outer ring. The cause here is wear and tear of the outer ring which usually happened due to lifting heavy weights, being over-weight, weak muscles, sedentary lifestyle or age. Along with proper medical treatment, Yoga helps in treating this condition.

3. Sciatica
Sciatica is caused due to compression of either of the 5 sets of nerve roots in the lower back. The pain is excruciating and can also cause dizziness. Obesity, prolonged siting and diabetes increase the risks of Sciatica.

4. Ankylosing spondylitis
It is a type of arthritis which stiffens the lower portion of the neck till the lower back. The vertebrae fuse together causing a stiffened spine. It may also affect the ligaments and tendons attached to the spinal cord. It is imperative that we keep the spine flexible and the muscles strong. Sleeping late, unhealthy eating habits, stress, high sugar consumption increase the risk of ankylosing spondylitis.

5. Osteoarthritis of spine
It is the weakening of spinal bones due to slow deterioration of cartilage around joints in the lower back. If your work includes lifting heavy objects or if you work out regularly at the gym, ensure that you bend right and life weight with a correct posture. Otherwise you might end up hurting your back. Injury or deficiency of calcium weakens the bones causing osteoarthritis.

6. Degenerative disk disease
Lifestyle factors cause the cushion between the bones to dry out and flatten. The bones rub against each other and this affects the nerves causing discomfort and pain. Over-weight, high impact sports, poor posture increase the risk of degenerative disk disease.

7. Pain due to acidity
One of the major causes of back-pain is high acidity in the body. When the acidic level of blood increases, it causes the lubrication between bones to dry up. Also our body tends to deal with acidity by pulling calcium from the bones.

This can make the bones weak. Unhealthy junk food, fatty foods, over spicy and salty foods like chips, aerated drinks etc. affect the bone health and also increase the acidic level.

The spine needs equal attention as the heart. It is imperative that we maintain the spinal flexibility, bone health and muscles strength. Lifestyle contributes to majority back pain issues.It is unbelievable but stress can also be a cause for spinal disorder. Men and women in their middle age suffer from back pain which can be an indication of some impending disorder. It is best to consult a specialist and adopt healthy habits.

About author


Dr. Saurabh Rawall

Dr. Saurabh is a spine surgeon at Jaypee Hospital Noida. He has done his MBBS from AIIMS, New Delhi followed by MS Orthopaedics from AIIMS, New Delhi, India

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