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High incidence of lower back pain in young IT professionals

Doctors prescribe modifications in lifestyle, counselling

High incidence of lower back pain in young IT professionals


Tribune News Service

Naina Mishra

Chandigarh, March 3

In a concerning trend observed at the PGI Pain Clinic here, a surge in young patients, particularly those in the IT field, seeking treatment for lower back pain has been reported over the past five years. Lifestyle factors, including prolonged sitting in a poor posture and excessive use of mobile devices, have been identified as major contributors to this rise in back pain cases.

The clinic recently attended to a 23-year-old IT professional who presented with severe lower back pain. Investigation revealed that his sedentary lifestyle, coupled with prolonged hours of coding work, led to the distressing symptoms. The patient has been prescribed lifestyle modifications, counselling and pain relief medication to address the immediate concerns. However, doctors emphasise if such detrimental habits persist, the intermittent pain may evolve into a chronic condition, potentially causing 24-hour discomfort and mobility challenges.

Dr Babita Ghai, in charge of the Pro and Pain Clinic, Anaesthesia Department, highlighted a shift in the age demographic seeking treatment for back pain. Previously associated with older age groups, back pain is now affecting individuals aged between 20 and 30, with over half of them employed in the IT sector.

The Pain Clinic, operating every Wednesday and Saturday, caters to referral cases, with 70 to 75 per cent patients reporting lower back pain persisting for years. The clinic provides various therapies, with a significant focus on yoga, which has shown promising results in alleviating pain associated with prolonged sitting.

Dr Ghai emphasised the importance of physical activity and the adverse effects of continuous sitting. Yoga, previously lacking scientific evidence, is now being actively incorporated into patient care. The PGI has undertaken a large-scale study to further explore the benefits of yoga in managing spinal cord patients.

Furthermore, the Collaborative Centre for Mind Body Intervention at the PGI, established four years ago, has collaborated with the Research Council on Yoga and Naturopathy in New Delhi. This centre scientifically studies the effects of yoga on the body. Notably, online yoga sessions are being offered to patients, reflecting a proactive approach to address the growing concern of back pain in the younger population.

Major factors

Lifestyle factors, including prolonged sitting in a poor posture and excessive use of mobile devices, have been identified as major contributors to a rise in back pain cases.

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