22nd May 2019: Spine problems in young people between 20 and 40 years occur more in the gadget-savvy working professionals who sit for long hours, making them prone to repetitive stress injuries, the spine surgeon at the Columbia Asia Hospital says. As much as 80 per cent of the spine conditions in young people can be corrected by simple lifestyle modifications such as good nutrition and adequate exercise, the doctor says.
Repetitive stress injury (RSI) describes the pain in muscles, nerves and tendons caused by repetitive movement and overuse. The condition is also known as overuse syndrome, work-related upper limb disorder or non-specific upper limb pain.
“Most of the people in this age group are working professionals who drive long distances to office and after that perform most of the jobs sitting for the whole day. They work on computer or laptops, sit for long meetings, and are active on social media available on their mobiles. Once home, they use gadgets to read books and fall asleep while reading. Such prolonged and abnormal exposure to screens puts unnecessary stress on the spine and makes them susceptible to sprains in the ligaments that bind the vertebra, resulting in muscles becoming sore and increases chances of problems in the disc,” says Dr.Ashutosh Jha – Consultant Orthopedics, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad.
As spine related problems in youth are becoming rampant in India, the doctor finds that most of the issues occur due to the dual burden of long sitting hours and abnormal use of spine prompted by gadgets.
“The spine of a human being is originally designed to support movement and when used, spine remains healthy. The problem in today’s youth is due to inactivity of the spine and excessive dependence on and use of gadgets. The most common problem seen in young people are related to cervical spine and backbone – slipdiscs, repetitive stress injuries, sore back, and injuriesto the ligament. In past few years, I have received 125 patients who are below 40 but have serious spine conditions and repetitive stress injury is the most common condition I come across. The most important step is to identify the problem on time which lowers the need of medical or surgical intervention and can be treated with simple lifestyle modification such as good, nutritious food, moderate exercise and reducing sitting time by taking a short walk at regular intervals,” says Dr.Ashutosh Jha – Consultant Orthopedics, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad.
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