Back Pain

Back Pain Community

Spine is the central structure and pillar of support for the body. This pillar of strength is supported by muscles attached to it on both sides. The spine helps us in maintaining an erect posture. If not for the spine we would have been crawling on the ground. Having a strong spine is considered important to an extent where the word “spineless” is used to describe someone who does not have courage.

The human spine has two components - outer bony structure called Vertebrae and the inner spinal cord within the vertebral canal. The spinal cord is a continuation of the brain and maintains the connection between the brain and rest of the body. That is how we control our body movements. The spine has 33 vertebrae and 31 spinal nerves arising from the spinal cord. The spine is flexible due to the complex arrangement of different parts of the spinal canal, which allow varied range of movements at different levels of spine.

The two adjacent vertebrae are held together by a jelly like material called Disc, joints called facets along with ligaments and para spinal muscles. Each of these structures undergo change in accordance with age, day to day usage, injury or repetitive trauma due to occupation, systemic ailments and unaccustomed work.

With urbanisation, the way we live has changed phenomenally in the last 25 years. Lets see what are the changes that has led to an epidemic of spine related problems.

 

 

Before

Now

Remarks

Commode

Indian style

Western style

Indian style involves movements of all joints (knee, hip, shoulder, elbow), spine and  aids in movement of the bowels

Bathing

Sitting on floor

Standing

Same as above

Prayer

Seated on floor

Standing

Sitting causes movements of all joints

Eating Meals

Seated on floor

Dining chair

 

Commute to work

walk or bicycle

Motor driven vehicle

 

Work place

Natural ventilation, low seating

AC, Cushioned, push back chairs, revolving

Arching backwards causes stress on the spine.

 

Rural- field work, farming, gardening

Urban- paper work, move around at office,

Rural- same

Urban- most work on computer, cellphones, seated in one place

Muscles of neck and back are continuously acting without any exercises or movements for them

Lunch time

Walk to lunch hall

In the seat

 

Back home before 6pm

play at home, do house work, walk to the market, carry heavy groceries, objects

work late , no physical activity, everything available at click of mouse; others couch and watch TV, cellphone, PC

Decreased physical activity makes all joints stiff, weight gain and the vicious cycle continues

Sleep

On floor using cotton beds and cotton filled pillows

Cot with soft bed and pillows and with cellphones

soft bed and pillows do not support the body and put the body parts to strain; cellphones disturb normal sleep, more harmful for child's brain and body

Carrying children

On the waist , sideways

Hung by belt in front or back

Carrying on the waist sideways maintains the normal curvature of the spine and causes less strain

 

We hope that the above table makes it clear why spine problems have become common.

Next common cause of back and neck pain is sudden twisting and bending movements causing the joints in the back to twist, lock and cause severe muscle spasm like a feeling of the upper body being separated from the lower body.

Sudden bending, twisting and lifting of heavy object, violent sneeze, cough, violent or abnormal sex postures lead to squeezing of the disc material. This protruded disc presses on the spinal nerve causing back, neck, leg or arm pain depending on the location.

Vague, diffuse aches are commonly due to inadequate hydration. Our joints and muscles require good hydration for optimum pain free function. Hydration should be adjusted to age, climate, body weight and nature of work. On an average 2.5 litres per day is essential.

We commonly come across people who developed pain after starting YOGA. This usually happens when the asanas are not practiced under the guidance of a genuine and experienced teacher. YOGA is not just about asanas, it is a way of life, with principles and discipline that guides our life.

Lack of exposure to natural air and sunlight causes Vitamin D deficiency. This can cause vague pains, fracture of the foot or spine due to trivial trauma.

 

We hope that the above information on problems related to spine helps you in understanding your body and seek consultation at the right time.


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