The World Spine Day theme for 2021 will be BACK 2 BACK! The theme reflects the need to reset and refocus on spinal pain and disability as part of the global burden of disease. With an estimated 540 million people in the world suffering with low back pain at any one time, it remains the leading cause of years lived with disability. World Spine Day also recognizes the lack of access to quality spine care and rehabilitation in under-served communities, which results in chronicity and permanent deformity. BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading their spines and adopting healthy habits such as weight loss and smoking cessation. Thought to be the largest global public health event dedicated to promoting spinal health and wellbeing, World Spine Day is observed by health professions and public organizations concerned with spine care. BACK2BACK will focus attention on spinal pain and disability at home, in the workplace, in schools and in our communities.
World Spine Day: Why it's important to take care of your spine
Our spine being the body's central support structure helps other parts to be in perfect alignment. No wonder, we are always advised by health experts to keep our back straight and adopt good posture. When we are sitting, moving around or sleeping in incorrect postures our spine bears the brunt of it. A good posture makes sure our spine is not overstretched which reduces our chances of neck and back pain apart from maintaining a good blood flow.
As many as one billion people worldwide suffer from spinal pain. It is also one of the biggest single cause of disability and thus affects our quality of life immensely. World Spine Day which is celebrated on October 16 every year highlights the importance of spinal health and encourages people to stay active. It is suggested to adopt a good posture, do physical activity and responsible lifting in order to ensure good spinal health. There are a variety of spine conditions that can affect your mobility and lead to painful health conditions. If you are having difficulty in sitting, walking, bending or standing properly, then you must consult your doctor. Symptoms like stiffness, tightness, neck and back pain should not be ignored at any cost.
The spinal cord is a tube-like structure with nerves extending via the base of the brain and down the back. It carries messages from your brain to the entire body and is situated within the vertebrae (the backbone). Spine disorders can cause damage to your spinal cord. There are various degenerative spine conditions like arthritis, degenerative disc disease, herniated disc, spondylosis, ankylosing spondylitis, back pain, neck pain, scoliosis, spinal cord cancer, spinal cord injury, osteoporosis, vertebral fractures, hematoma, and kyphosis you must be wary of.
Causes of spine problems
You may develop spine problems due to accidental falls, infection, inflammation, some disorders that are present by birth, traumatic spine injuries, wear and tear due to ageing, autoimmune diseases, vitamin deficiency and blocked blood supply to the spine. Being overweight or obese, not lifting things with care, sedentary lifestyle, low calcium intake, or smoking, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or thyroid disease, overuse of spinal cord, having a bad posture, and doing strenuous activities every now and then can double the chances of spine disorders.
Symptoms of spine disorders
If you have spine disorders then you will have rounded shoulders or back, back pain, neck pain, sharp and stabbing, dull and aching, or burning in the back and neck. You may also suffer from bladder or bowel dysfunction, nausea, vomiting, pain radiating in the arms or legs. Limb paralysis, numbness, or tingling in the arms or legs can also indicate spine problem. Moreover, you will be unable to do your daily activities with ease, and you will be less productive at work. If not tackled at the right time, the person can even become immobile.
Diagnosis of spinal disorders
An MRI, CT scan, an X-ray of the spine, and electromyography (EMG) will let you know about the abnormalities in the spine. Once the doctor spots the exact issue then you need to start the treatment on an immediate basis.
If you have a tumour then you may have to undergo a surgery to get it removed and take radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Other spine disorders will be tackled by back bracing, ice or heat therapy for injuries, injections, medications, rehabilitation using physical therapy to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles, surgery to replace discs, open up the spinal canal, or repair nerves. You may also be asked to make lifestyle modifications like not lifting heavy objects, eating a well-balanced diet, not doing strenuous activities, resting and staying hydrated.