picFaridabad: On the eve of World Spine Day (October 16), in a zoom meeting with health journalists, spine specialists of  Amrita Hospital in Faridabad warned against prevalence of zoom meetings as a result of work from home as they are proving bane to spine of people in jobs.

The joke may be on them but Amrita neurosurgeons nicely explained how wrong postures are distorting spine to lead to an epidemic of back and neck pain. They also red flagged about claims of stem cell therapists of curing Acute Spinal Cord Surgery (SCI). Mincing no words, they said stem cells are no ‘Amrit’ (nectar) on this incurable condition and so called stem cell experts are taking such patients for a ride.

Called by name of ‘Text-Neck Syndrome’ meaning repetitive stress injury to the neck caused by having one’s head in a forward position for an extended period, wrong postures are proving a source of crippling effect on spine. Dr. Tarun Suri, Head of Spine Surgery and Dr. Satyakam Baruah, Senior Consultant, Neurosurgery at Amrita Hospital Faridabad appealed people at large to be wary about their postures during sitting for work to keep their spine in fine form. They warned that extended wrong postures during sitting positions may distort such as might need surgery to correct it. They explained how poor posture and screen addiction might hamper their capacity to work if not righted in time.

Exposure to long hours in front of screens, coupled with poor posture and inadequate ergonomics in the workplace, is causing today’s individuals, especially young adults, to be susceptible to spine-related conditions like ‘text-neck syndrome’ where the neck muscles become strained and stiff, causing long-term spinal complexities, according to prominent experts at Amrita Hospital Faridabad. Studies show that poor posture is the primary cause of neck and back pain in young and mid-age individuals, leading to work loss, hospital visits, and treatment expenses. Over time, it damages spinal discs, causes muscle spasms, and may lead to chronic pain, disc degeneration, and even surgery in severe cases.

Dr. Suri stated, ‘Poor posture has become the most common cause of back and neck pain among our OPD patients. Remarkably, nearly 70% of our OPD patients fall into this category. Poor screen etiquette is also a leading contributor to such pain. People often use their gadgets with their neck bent for prolonged periods, leading to a condition called “text-neck syndrome. Individuals between the ages of 25 and 45 are the most commonly affected by postural back pain. Recently, we have also observed children aged 10-20 years experiencing postural spine pains. Within this age group, poor studying posture, excessive gadget use, and carrying heavy school bags can all be important causes of back pain. In this regard, it’s important to mention that back and neck pain is common among both men and women.’

Dr Baruah added: ‘Ignoring posture issues in young adulthood may seem harmless, but the long-term consequences can be severe. From disc degeneration and prolapse, which can potentially lead to nerve or spinal cord compression, to the risk of weakness, paralysis, or even spinal malalignment such as scoliosis and kyphosis, the impact is far-reaching. Prioritizing good posture is not just about appearance; it’s about safeguarding your future health and mobility. With proper exercise and practice, these symptoms caused can be prevented.’

Dr. Suri advised taking a 60-second break to stretch the back after sitting continuously for 20-30 minutes to release intradiscal pressures and improve circulation in spine tissues and muscles. Stretching exercises for the neck while working on a computer for extended periods, as well as morning exercises, including neck stretches, range of motion exercises, shoulder shrugging exercises, and lower back exercises like yoga, ‘surya-namaskars,’ and ‘bhujangasan,’ are also helpful in maintaining circulation, flexibility, and strength of spine muscles.