Is that back pain killing you?

Oct 15, 2015, 17:35 IST


On World Spine Day today (16th October) Dr. Garima Anandani (P.T.) Chief Spine Specialist from Qi Spine Clinic says lists down reasons why 80% of women in the workforce, aged between 21 and 55, are affected by back pain and have weak spine.

A survey conducted in various corporates across sectors such as IT, FMCG, media, consulting and banking to understand the incidence of back/ spine problems in young adults found that most women complain of pain and discomfort in their back.

Subjects who satisfied the following criteria were selected: (i) women professionals aged between 21 and 55 years who are working on day shift. (ii) The duration of working hours were also taken into consideration which is fixed as at least 7 hours a day or 35 hours per week.

The study concluded that 80% of women corporate professionals suffer from various work related musculoskeletal disorders. In this study, more than 50% of them reported lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder and upper back as the most frequent types of musculoskeletal disorders.

It is interesting to note, that even prior to this study, about 76% of professionals using computers in India had reported musculoskeletal discomfort in various epidemiological studies. Besides being uncomfortable, poor sitting posture and workplace ergonomics over time can damage spinal structures and contribute to recurrent episodes of neck or back pain.

Also read: How to stay active at your work desk

Musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace are emerging as a growing problem in our modern societies. Low back pain (LBP) is the leading cause of activity limitation and work absence throughout the world, and thereby imposes a high economic burden on individuals, families, communities, industry, and government. This affliction now represents the second largest cause of short-term or temporary work disability after the common cold.

The existence of a relationship between workplace factors and the occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders has long been recognized. Working women in India are exposed to a dual burden of job and home. Hence they over-exert themselves due to which they suffer from various health problems. They also under-report their problems and don't take preventive action fast enough.

Also read: How to workout at work

Preventions and intervention strategies
Brisk walking:
It balances the major muscles and brings better body alignment, keeps the hip joints flexible and works the lower and side abdominal muscles. The movement increases blood flow, builds muscle strength in the pelvis and lower back and improves bone strength. Walking also decreases muscle tension a major contributing factor to back pain and provides relief from static body positioning. Movement is the most vital ingredient to spine health.
A total of (N=300) professionals across different offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Pune, formed the population of this study.
300 people responded to the questionnaire circulated in the ‘Treat Your Own Spine’ workshops organised by Qi Spine for the employees to help understand the relationship between poor posture, faulty ergonomics and back pain. Out of which only those who reported to have back pain as indicated in the questionnaire were selected for analyzing the risk factors contributing to its occurrence.

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