World Spine Day is observed globally on October 16 to raise awareness about the importance of spine health. The theme of this year’s Spine Day is “Move Your Spine”. According to doctors at Amrita Hospital Faridabad, exposure to long hours in front of screens, coupled with poor posture and inadequate ergonomics in the workplace, is causing the young adults to be susceptible to spine-related conditions like “text-neck syndrome”.
what is word spine day ?
World Spine Day, celebrated on October 16 each year, is a global initiative initiated by the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC). This day holds immense significance as it aims to raise awareness about the burden of spinal pain and disability worldwide. It serves as a platform to educate people about the importance of spinal health, promote proactive measures to care for the spine, and dispel myths surrounding back and neck pain. The inception of World Spine Day can be traced back to the need for a unified effort to address the growing concerns related to spinal health.
The World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) recognized the need for a day dedicated to spinal health due to the increasing prevalence of spinal pain and its impact on people’s lives across the globe. Spinal health is a fundamental aspect of overall well-being, and back and neck pain can affect individuals of all ages. Therefore, WFC, with the support of over 800 official organizational supporters worldwide, established World Spine Day to emphasize the significance of maintaining a healthy spine and the role it plays in leading a pain-free life.
The Rise of Text-Neck Syndrome
“Text-neck syndrome” is on the rise, especially among young adults, and it accounts for about 70 percent of outpatient visits, according to city doctors. This condition is characterized by strained and stiff neck muscles, leading to long-term spinal complexities.
Poor posture has become the most common cause of back and neck pain among OPD patients, with nearly 70 percent falling into this category. The improper use of gadgets, where people often bend their necks for prolonged periods, contributes to this condition. Individuals between the ages of 25 and 45 are the most commonly affected by postural back pain, according to Dr. Tarun Suri, Head of Spine Surgery at Amrita Hospital Faridabad.
Studies have shown that poor posture is the primary cause of neck and back pain in young and mid-age individuals. This leads to work loss, hospital visits, and treatment expenses. Over time, it can damage spinal discs, cause muscle spasms, and may even lead to chronic pain, disc degeneration, and surgery in severe cases.
The leading factors behind bad posture are poor workplace ergonomics, which involve long hours of sitting without proper chair and desk height, putting significant stress on the lower back and neck. Chronic stress can be extremely detrimental to one’s spinal health. Neck, upper back, and shoulder muscles tend to tighten due to stress, which can lead to misalignment and poor posture, the doctor said.
Addressing Spine Problems Among Children
Dr. Suri also highlighted that children aged 10-20 years are experiencing postural spine pains. Spine problems among children are often due to poor studying posture, excessive gadget use, and carrying heavy school bags. The doctor advised people not to ignore posture issues that can have severe long-term consequences.
Early Warning Signs and Prevention
The early warning signs for neck and back pain or developing chronic pain often come in the form of neck pains, with or without radiating pains in the arm, altered spinal alignment, lower back pain, and morning stiffness in the neck or lower back. However, with proper exercise and practice, these symptoms can be prevented.
Dr. Suri recommended that people train themselves to use digital devices at eye level and avoid bending their necks. Holding a cell phone near the ears and tilting the neck for extended periods is a common bad habit that should be avoided. While sitting, the hips and knees should form about a 90-degree angle, with the feet flat on the ground. The back should also be in a neutral position and not hunched over or slouched.
Taking place on October 16 each year, World Spine Day highlights the burden of spinal pain and disability around the world. It emphasizes the importance of spinal health and well-being. Promotion of physical activity, good posture, responsible lifting, and healthy working conditions are key aspects of this day.
An estimated one billion people worldwide suffer from spinal pain. It affects people across the life course and is the biggest single cause of disability on the planet. Effective management and prevention are crucial. Populations in under-served parts of the world often have no access to conventional healthcare resources for spinal pain and disability. Even in high-income countries, back pain afflicts many, resulting in an enormous impact on industry and the economy.
7 Important Myths and Facts About Spinal Health “Spine Day
Understanding the truth about spinal health is vital to your well-being. There are many myths and misconceptions about healthcare that can mislead people. Dr. Himanshu Tyagi, Sr. Consultant, Orthopaedics, Spine Surgery, Artemis Hospitals, Gurugram, shared seven common myths and the corresponding facts about spinal health that everyone should be aware of.
- Myth: Good posture is all about sitting up straight Fact: Good posture is not just about sitting up straight. It is all about maintaining the spine’s natural curves while sitting or standing. It’s not about being rigidly straight.
- Myth: Back pain is a natural part of aging Fact: Back pain indeed gets common as people age, but chronic back pain is not an inevitable phenomenon. It can often be prevented or managed with proper care.
- Myth: Lifting heavy objects is the only way you can get your back injured Fact: Lifting heavy objects is not the only way to get your back injured. Everyday activities like poor posture, prolonged sitting, or even sudden twisting physical motions can strain the back and result in injuries.
- Myth: Rest is the best way to heal a back injury Fact: Resting can surely help with back pain, but it’s not the best and only way. In fact, in some cases, resting too much can slow down recovery. Gentle movements and exercises may help in speeding up the healing process.
- Myth: Exercise is harmful for people with back pain Fact: While rigorous exercises may be harmful as they cause strain on the back, light exercises might actually be helpful in alleviating the back pain. If done correctly, exercising can strengthen the back and eliminate the pain. It’s also better to consult with a healthcare professional for the right guidance regarding exercises.
- Myth: Surgery is the only solution for excruciating back pain Fact: This is not entirely true. Surgery is often a last resort. There are various ways through which excruciating back pain can be eradicated. Many spinal issues can be managed through non-invasive treatments like physical therapy and lifestyle changes. Surgery is performed when the other methods of treatment are not making any difference to the back pain.
- Myth: Once you have back pain, it won’t go. It will be there lifelong Fact: Back pains don’t always last for a lifetime. Most of the time, back pain is temporary and can get better with proper care. Lifestyle changes and treatment also significantly help in alleviating the back pain.
Understanding the truths behind spinal health myths is important for maintaining a healthy back. Focus on proactive measures and seek professional guidance when needed.
World Spine Day underscores the fact that spinal pain is not confined to specific regions or age groups. It is a global concern, and the day’s initiatives aim to encourage people from all walks of life to take steps to be kind to their spines. Activities on this day often include promoting physical activity, good posture, responsible lifting, and healthy working conditions. By raising awareness about the importance of spinal health and challenging myths associated with back and neck pain, World Spine Day plays a crucial role in improving the quality of life for individuals around the world.
1. What is “text-neck syndrome”? “Text-neck syndrome” refers to a condition where neck muscles become strained and stiff due to prolonged bending of the neck, often caused by excessive use of digital devices.
2. How can I prevent text-neck syndrome? To prevent text-neck syndrome, it’s essential to maintain good posture when using digital devices. Keep your device at eye level, avoid prolonged neck bending, and take regular breaks to stretch your back.
3. What are the common myths about spinal health? Common myths about spinal health include beliefs that good posture is all about sitting up straight, back pain is inevitable with age, and surgery is the only solution for back pain. These myths can mislead people and hinder proper care.
4. How can I maintain a healthy spine? Maintaining a healthy spine involves practicing good posture, staying physically active, avoiding overloading your spine, and seeking professional guidance when needed. Simple lifestyle changes can significantly contribute to spinal health.
5. Why is World Spine Day important? World Spine Day raises awareness about the burden of spinal pain and disability worldwide. It encourages people to take proactive measures to care for their spines, promoting physical activity, good posture, and responsible lifting.