7 Enemies Of Your Spine

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Neck, back and lower back pain is rapidly becoming more widespread…

These types of pain inflict everyone from 7 to 70. Some of us have neck pain, some back pain, some lower back pain and some have knee and even wrist pain. Anesthesia and Reanimation Specialist Dr. Halil Algan from the Acibadem Kadıköy Hospital Pain Treatment Center, explained that rather than just calling something an ache and waving it away, the cause for the pain should definitely be investigated and that most of the pain we feel is caused my wrong movements in our daily lives. Dr. Algan, who pointed out that tens of thousands of patients in our country experiencing pain could actually have a happy and pain-free life with the application of some very simple methods, added that we should also avoid certain actions that could be harmful to our spines. Dr. Algan explained the 7 actions that can be harmful for our spine and provided important warnings and recommendations.

Lower back and neck pain are among the top reasons for complaints in our present day. In fact, due to bad posture, a sedentary lifestyle and excessive weight gain, pain can come knocking at our door at a very young age and make it difficult for us to accomplish the simplest of tasks. Neck, back and lower back pain take first place in types of discomfort that affect the quality of life for people. The list goes on with hand, knee, wrist and elbow pain. Pointing out that pain which lasts more than three months is considered ‘chronic pain’,

Acibadem Kadıköy Hospital Pain Treatment Center, Anesthesia and Reanimation Specialist Dr. Halil Algan, said that these types of chronic pain, which are also quite widespread in our country, cause millions of dollars in work force to be lost every year in the U.S. While ‘non-surgical’ treatment has become more predominant in order to reduce these costs, Dr. Algan adds, “The Government’s policy is to reduce the loss in work force caused by chronic pain to a minimum, because many patients are currently being operated on just to get rid of the pain even though surgery is not absolutely necessary. Patients are forced to stay away from work and their social lives for a time because of these surgeries leading to increased health expenditures. This is why Pain Treatment Departments hold a very important place in the treatment of lower back and neck hernias in the U.S.

Lower back, back and neck pain is at the top

Dr. Algan, who pointed out the lower back, back and neck pain are the most frequent cause of complaints, said that it is critical to determine the patient’s pain history and the movements that are difficult for them because of the pain in order to make the right diagnosis and added “For example, can they make their bed? Can they put their shoes on? Can they go shopping? Can they put their clothes on easily? It is not right to just say ‘you have a herniated disc, have the surgery and your pain will be gone’ without doing a comprehensive examination and testing. In fact MR results, on their own, can be misleading.  If the patient has been diagnosed with a herniated disc and they do not feel pain in their leg and do not have weakness, MR results are not enough to decide that surgery is needed”. Dr. Algan emphasized that tens of thousands of patients in our country experiencing pain could actually have a happy and pain-free life with the application of some very simple methods.

Movement is a must, be careful when bending down!

It is important for patients to lose weight if they have extra weight, go for walks and be careful not to move their lower back and spine incorrectly in the daily life. So what movements in our daily lives can harm our spine and increase lower back, back and neck pain?

1- A sedentary lifestyle: Due to the advancements in technology sedentary lifestyles are becoming more widespread among everyone from 7 to 70. Inactivity has a direct impact on the spine! Dr. Halil Algan provides the example of his 90 year old patient to emphasize the importance of daily walks: “My 90 year patient who has been taking regular fast tempo walks all his life has radiological images of his spine that show he is in better shape than people half his age.”

2- Excessive weight: While excessive weight increases the pressure and load on the discs in the spine it also makes treatment more difficult. Getting rid of excessive weight and going for regular walks decreases the load on the spine almost completely.

3- Soft bed: Sometimes we recline on a soft couch in front of the tv and remain in the same position for hours. But this is wrong. A soft bed is very harmful for spinal health both in terms of sitting and lying down. One of the best forms of treatment is to choose the right bed. Placing pillows between and under the knees also reduces the pressure and provides relief to the individual.

4 - Standing for long periods of time: When you stand at a fixed spot the pressure on the vertebra discs is intensified by 4-5 times the normal. The discs wear down must faster in people who have jobs that require standing in the same position for extended periods of time. Lower back and neck pain occur more frequently. Even when we are ironing we have to shift our weight back and forth between our legs.

5 - Leaning down without bending our knees: One of the biggest mistakes we make is leaning down without bending our knees. When we do this we increase the load on our vertebra discs by 6-7 times. It is very important for us to bend our knees when leaning over to pick something up.

6 - Sitting in the same position for a long time: Since the human body is structured to be active all the time the most intense pressure on the discs is seen in people who sit constantly, like office workers. This is why people working in offices need to get up from their desk every 20-30 minutes and walk around. Long term (chronic pain) originating from the spine is seen most frequently in people who work at a desk.

7 - High heeled shoes: High heeled shoes which are attractive with their different models and color are actually very harmful for the spine when worn constantly. Feet need to be in a comfortable position and not pressed forward. When sitting the whole sole of the foot should be resting on the floor. Otherwise deformities and chronic pain can flare up in the lower back, hips and knees.

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