Sanjay Yadav, a 30-year-old computer professional, was forced to take a month’s leave after his backache aggravated so much that he was unable to move his neck. He was later diagnosed with cervical spondylosis and put on analgesic drugs along with physiotherapy sessions.
Yadav is among the growing number of people in the lower-age bracket suffering from cervical spondylosis. Dr Preeti Doshi, in-charge of pain clinic at Jaslok Hospital, said “Sedentary lifestyle, desk jobs, no exercise and poor posture attribute to spinal problem which is affecting the age group of 35-55 the most. Eighty per cent of patients I see in my clinic are those with low back pain complaints and slip disc.”
Dr Doshi said eight out of 10 persons will have spine problem once in his lifetime.
Agreeing to Dr Doshi, Dr Garima Anandani, head of clinical operations at Qi Spine Clinic, Mumbai, said: “We see very young patients of 16 to 17 years suffering from backache. The most common problem is the disc bulging out. Correcting the posture solves most backache problems.”
Dr Abhay Nene, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at PD Hinduja Hospital, said change in lifestyle, weight gain, not getting enough rest and lack of Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, calcium and protein are the major reasons for youngsters complaining about severe neck and back pain. “Nearly 150 of the 200 patients I see every week have backache and neck problems. Fifty per cent of these patients are in their late 20s or early 30s,” he said.
These ailments have led to more pain management clinics coming up in the city. There are around 20 pain management clinics that experts feel is still less to handle the actual population.
Explaining on how sedentary lifestyle is impacting our spine, Dr Nene said: “Our spine is made up of multiple small bones, inter-vertebral discs that act as shock absorbers. Because of incorrect usage, the discs start drying up in the lower spine which bears the load. This weakens the back. Further pressure may rupture the discs or pinch the spinal cord’s nerve. This can cause severe pain shooting down the leg. This can be avoided by making healthy lifestyle changes.”
Mind your spinal column
1 Targeted simple exercises can strengthen your core and joints
2 A healthy diet of lean proteins, healthy fats and lots of fruits and veggies is ideal for building a lean body and muscles that support the spine
3 To improve the condition of your spine, supplement your diet with a multivitamin along with a B-complex and Omega-3s, as they have been shown to help decrease pain in the spine nerves
4 Try to spend 10 to 20 minutes in the sunlight every day
5 Studies suggest that insufficient sleep is associated with neck and back problems. Get between six and eight hours of sleep. Sleep in a position that enables the spine to relax. The ideal position is on your side, as that puts the least amount of pressure on the spine
6 A good posture is defined as ears aligned with the shoulders. In a proper alignment, spinal stress is diminished
7 Neck stretches can improve the health of the cervical spine.