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Backaches decoded by Dr Mazda Turel

On Saturday, December 18, Dr Mazda Turel, leading neurosurgeon, answered questions on back and spine care for senior citizens. Dr Noor Gill captures the takeaways

On December 18, 2021, Seniors Today hosted its weekly Health Live webinar with leading neurologist Dr Mazda Turel making a presentation and addressing questions on on Back Care for Senior Citizens.

Dr Mazda Turel is a Neurosurgeon and Spine Surgeon at Wockhardt Hospitals. A winner of several awards and accolades, Dr Turel has done a Fellowship in Cerebrovascular surgery at the Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai in China. He has a Fellowship in Complex & Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at the Rush University Medical Centre, Chicago, USA and a Fellowship in Neuro-oncology, Endoscopic and Open Skullbase Surgery at the Toronto Western Hospital in Canada. He is also Consultant Neurosurgeon (Assistant Professor) at the Department of Neurological Sciences, Chistian Medical College, Vellore

Here are the takeaways:

If you have backache, you can either go to an orthopaedic surgeon or a spine surgeon. Both of them are adequately trained. The intervertebral disc acts as a shock absorbent.

Prevention is better than cure. It is important to have a healthy posture. All spine problems arise from weak muscles. They don’t come from bones that are bad or joints or ligaments. These factors may be contributing but the main contributing factor is inherently weak muscles. When you’re sitting, you should sit straight and avoid any kind of slouching.

Try changing your position every 30-45 minutes. In case you’re sitting in the same position. Make sure your computer screen is at high level and roughly at a distance of two feet and you have a foot/leg support.

When you’re bending down to lift something, make sure you’re bending your hip and your knee. Do not bend with your back straight just forward. Make sure you bend with your back forward and then lift anything that has weight.

When you’re lying down with you back on the bed, ideally you should place a pillow below your knees, since this flexes your knees a little and reduces the tension on your lumbar spine.

When you get out of bed, it is extremely important that you use your hands; put your legs down first and then use your hands to lift yourself up. Other than just using the pressure in your limbs to lift yourself up.

There are very few indications for complete  bed rest in case you have back pain or spine pain. So the general recommendation would be to get up and walk every half an hour. Be constantly mobile. Use the stairs as frequently as you can.  Walk for short distances whenever and wherever you can.

Degenerative back pain is seen in the elderly when you are performing actions that can load the back.

In the mornings, before you get out of bed, try bringing your knees to your chest and count to ten. This will open up your lower back muscles and hopefully take care of any aches or pains that you might have when you wake up in the morning.

You must not neglect back pain if you’ve had a history of back pain with fever, any history of lifting heavy weights, history of any malignancy associated with back pain.

Isometric neck exercises should help with back pain and stiffness in case it is due to mechanical reasons.

You should get your bone density scan in case you’re over the age of 60 to keep your bone health in its prime. You should also start taking VitD3 sachets and tablets for calcium to increase your bone strength.

Dr Mazda Turel can be reached at Email mazdaturel@gmail.com and on his mobile number – +91 9930174567. His website address is: www.mazdaturel.com

 

Dr Noor Gill
Dr Noor Gill, MBBS, deciphers the space between heartbeats, figuratively and literally. Powered by frequent long naps and caffeine, she believes that “knowledge without giving back to society is meaningless” and works to make caring cool again.

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