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How to get rid of back pain & spondylosis

Reviewed by,

 Dr Akanchha Gupta

Master of Physiotherapy (Musculoskeletal),

Indian Spinal Injury Centre (ISIC) Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences

Consultant Physiotherapist,

CASAMED

Reviewed by,

 Dr Akanchha Gupta

Master of Physiotherapy (Musculoskeletal),

Indian Spinal Injury Centre (ISIC) Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences

Consultant Physiotherapist,

CASAMED

 

Back Problems:

With the digital revolution taking our civilization by a storm, we are becoming more and more accustomed to spending time in front of screens. And while all this technology has certainly made our lives easier, too easy can sometimes be trouble.With most of us spending a lot of our time on couches and chairs, we are now seeing problems like back pain in people in their 20s, a phenomenon previously unheard of. We as a species of hunters and gatherers have evolved to move rapidly and for long durations. The people from stone ages used to walk an average of 10 km per day. Yeah! 10km. When was the last time you covered that much distance on foot?

 The pattern of sedentary lifestyle that we are getting into is increasing our health risks. Sitting jobs, unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity are the golden trifecta of modern back problems, with us stuck in the middle. Yet another major concern is that we are transferring the same lifestyle to our children, with video games and fast foods. The major toll of all this inactivity is taken by our back with WHO estimating that around 60-70% of adults in industrialized countries experience back pain for at least a month, at least once in their lifetime.

 How to get rid of back pain & spondylosis.

 Watch our expert talk about prevalent spine problems and how to tackle them

 A Little Deep Dive:

 To understand this problem, let’s delve a little deeper, into the anatomy of the spine. Our spine is not a single, stiff, rod. Rather it is an immaculate collection of 24 movable bones called the vertebrae. The vertebrae are interlocked such as to give the spine a slight curve which provides it with a spring like motion, boosting flexibility. The vertebrae and discs are supported by ligaments that keep the spine properly aligned into three balanced curves. The three curves being cervical (neck), thoracic (chest) and lumbar (lower back).

 So, to have a perfectly healthy back all the three curves, which are in turn made of interlocked vertebrae, should be perfectly aligned to support your weight and provide dynamic movement. Seems simple, right? It’s not. Remember when we learnt earlier that the spine is made of interlocking vertebrae instead of a single rod to provide flexibility. That was to allow us to move quickly. Now like a machine bent out of shape with ill use, the three curves of our spine go out of alignment causing back and mobility problems for us.

 The good news is that taking small baby steps each day to improve our posture along with some low impact basic exercises can go a long way in treating and preventing our back problems. Slowly and steady wins the race here and it all starts with fixing your posture.

 A Good Posture:

 A good posture is very important to avoid back problems. Since your back is kinda always supporting your body weight, it is almost always at risk of strain if your posture is not correct. A good posture keeps your spine healthy by allowing it to maintain its natural shape and maintaining a proper flow of blood. On the other hand a poor posture will constrict your spine and restrict the blood flow. Let’s help you with some examples of good and bad posture.

While Standing:

Good Posture:

  • Back Straight and upright.
  • Shoulders Down and relaxed.
  • Abdomen tucked in.

Bad Posture:

  • Back swaying.
  • Shoulders Rounded.
  • Abdomen protruding.

While Sitting:

 Good Posture:

  • Back straight to support the upper body.
  • Head facing straight forward.

Bad Posture:

  • Slumped Back.
  • Head bent down.

Some other useful tips:

  • Always kneel to bend. Bending your back puts pressure on your spine. Bend your knees to lower your body when you need to bend rather than folding at your waist.
  • Never stand straight if you have to for a longer duration. Keep your knees soft rather than log straight.
  • While sleeping or lying down, keep your legs bent. Sleeping on your back puts more pressure on it. Putting a pillow under the knee cuts the pressure in half. Lying on your side with pillows under your knees also reduces the pressure.

Exercise and Diet:

Exercise and diet are important allies to a healthy back. Exercise helps you build muscles which in turn support your spine and a healthy diet along with exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight. Typically, you should not weigh more than 10% of your ideal body weight according to your height. Do participate in sporting activities like cycling and swimming which not only are good for your back but also have a great positive impact on your mental health. With simple exercises every day you can avoid major back problems in the future. Here are some to get you started:

Wall Squat:

  • Stand against the wall with your feet slightly forward.
  • Take your body down slowly along the wall in a squat position.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

 Leg Lift:

  • Lie down on the ground and raise your legs so that they are parallel to the ground with a bend in your knee.
  • Slowly, raise your legs upwards.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

 Cobra Pose

  • Lie down on your abdomen with your hands near your chest.
  • Slowly raise your chest off the ground with your hands planted firmly and look upwards.
  • Hold the pose for 30 sec and then slowly return to the starting position.

 Triangle Pose

  • Stand with your feet apart and arms raised
  • Slowly reach for your left foot with your left hand and look up at your right hand.
  • Hold the pose for 10 sec and then slowly return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the exercise with your right side.

To sum it up, as a long term risk mitigation for back pain or to solve the problem that is the holy trinity of balanced diet, good posture and moderate exercises can be relied upon. By returning to these simple basics, we can ensure a healthier, pain free tomorrow for us and our loved ones and prevent major problems like disability due to back problems. With the new variants of Covid-19 coming up day after day, we will be spending more time in our homes and hence these basics of diet and exercise will be even more important to maintain a healthy physique.

So stay home and stay safe but make sure not to be a couch potato.

Check out the complete back pain program from self diagnosis to exercise plan along with a free session with a top rated physiotherapist on the Casamed App or visit www.casamed.in to book an appointment.

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