Dr. Dhruv Chaturvedi, Senior Consultant, Neurosurgery, Vimhans Nayati Super specialty, New Delhi, talks about Spinal problems in the young generation, the causes and effective ways to fix them
Spinal problems in the younger generation have become quite common with their severity ranging from mild back aches to full-blown cervical and slip disc problems. On an average, over 30% of youngsters between 25- 40 years of age, are treated for back and neck conditions in India. While cervical spondylitis is the most common kind of neck pain, it often stays undetected until fully developed, causing the pain to spread to the back of the neck and, sometimes to the shoulders. This trend has been on the upswing due to a rather sedentary lifestyle and an increasing inclination to pick bad postures and habits.
Sitting is the ‘New Smoking’ and causes more ailments and long-term medical issues than most activities.
That said, the conditions and problems caused due to a bad spine are too serious to be ignored. To make people aware of its impact on day-to-day life, Dr Dhruv Chaturvedi, Senior Consultant, Neurosurgery, Vimhans Nayati Super specialty, New Delhi spoke to us about addressing spinal problems.
Source: University of Washington
What can be done right to avoid spinal problems?
- Correct posture: Sitting in front of a computer or driving for long durations, where the neck remains twisted, tilted, bent and the back is not upright, makes the muscles stiff, causing pain. Therefore, keeping your back upright at all times without the neck being extended or strained unduly is very important.
While orking, the computer screen should be at your eye level. You need to ensure that your computer screen is ergonomically correct at your workstation.
While driving, the head should touch the headrest and the thighs should be together to help avoid any stress on the spine.
- Avoid working for long hours: Sitting in one position for long durations (working on a computer or driving long distances) builds tension in the neck muscles, leading to pain and tightness.
Thus, you need to frequently change your position while sitting. Take a break of 2-5 minutes every 30-40 minutes, stand up, stretch your body gently and walk a few steps.
- Stay active but avoid rigorous training at the gym: Staying physically active is always recommended for bone and muscle health, but people indulging in rigorous training like carrying or moving heavy weights on the head or shoulder are prone to spinal problems.
How important is Vitamin D for bone health?
Our bodies need vitamin D to absorb calcium properly from the food we eat. It helps the bones get calcium, keeping them strong and healthy. Calcium deficiency happens to be one of the major causes of deteriorating bone health in the young generation. One of the best sources of Vitamin D is sunlight. Only a small proportion of Vitamin D comes from the food we eat, but it is still important to include vitamin D rich foods in your diet, such as oily fish and eggs.
Simple yet effective steps such as making healthy food choices, ensuring good vitamin-D levels through adequate sun exposure during morning hours, and active therapy that involves back-strengthening exercises, can help in treating spinal problems.
Nayati currently operates its flagship hospital, Nayati Medicity in Mathura, Nayati Hospital in Agra and Vimhans Nayati Super Specialty Hospital in Nehru Nagar, Delhi. Its upcoming hospitals include Nayati Sunderlal Jain Super Specialty Hospital in Ashok Vihar and Nayati Super Specialty Hospital in Gurugram.