Work from home may cause chronic back issues, warn doctors

Work from home may cause chronic back issues, warn doctors, the vie

n a world hit by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the culture of working from home has altered the routines of the daily lives as we knew it. The familiar feeling of commuting to office, the buzz of the work bay or the tensed silence of conference rooms or the noise of the cafeteria, working in shifts, taking breaks in-between have become few and far in between. People are losing out more than a normal working environment in this new normal, as their lifestyles and health are taking a severe hit.

Dr Swati Bhat, director (south) with Interventional Pain and Spine Centre (IPSC) and head, IPSC Varsity said she has been seeing a surge in patients in the age group of 20 to 40 complaining of back pain.

“With long hours of sitting, pressure builds on the discs of the Spinal cord. These discs are very crucial parts that help mobility. When one has very limited mobility, the bones would pressurise and suppress the discs. Most times, people working from home don’t pay attention to nutrition and adequate water consumption as well. This adds up to the already existing issues and the discs become dehydrated and weak.” Bhat told Network 18 in an interview.

She blames the lack of physical activity, bad nutrition, and incorrect postures for the chronic back issues, while cautioning that the damage to the spinal cord can be irreversible at times. She advises the people experiencing back pain for more than a week to book a doctor’s appointment without delay, saying needlessly postponing a consultation will do more harm than good.

Doctors are insisting that those working from home for long hours should pay attention to their diet and to stay hydrated, advising them to change working positions every few hours to give their back a rest.

“Maybe, move out of your bed to the dining space after 2 hours. And then to the living room. Make sure you drink enough water to keep yourself dehydrated. Whether you work outside or stay at home, the tissues in your body will keep working for you. Hence good food and sufficient water is a must. Never skip your meals. That one call after which you will have your lunch at peace will never happen. It takes hardly 10 minutes to eat a meal. Have it on time. Make sure you have all goodness of food on your plate,” a health official said.

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