September 26, 2020

How Is Quarantine Affecting Your Spine?

Charcha for Sir Qamar

Quarantine has destroyed our productive routines and healthy lifestyles. Many people have sunk into procrastination!  With more employees working from home, there are going to be more health issues as well. Musculoskeletal issues may arise from poor posture while sitting, a sedentary lifestyle, and lying on the bed all day long. These factors can have a toll on your spinal health. 

Your spine’s anatomy is complex. It has 33 vertebras with a disc between each one of them. Poor posture while using personal PCs increases the stress on these discs. This can lead to low back pain or even slipped discs. The incidence of low back pain is highest in adults with 15% of the world population experiencing it every year.

brown and black clipboard with white spinal cord print manual

An average person uses their mobile phones for about 3 hours and 15 minutes. With this quarantine, that number is an understatement as well. If you’re a youtube binge-watcher, go to your account menu, and click through to “time watched.” You’ll be horrified with yourself.

With the neck bent forward for long periods, it can cause severe neck pain. So, most cell phone users experience neck pain in daily life. Lack of exercise and stretching tightens the body muscles which causes chronic pain. The prevalence of neck pain is about 16.7% to 75.1% worldwide

A Sedentary lifestyle 

All the gyms and fitness centers are closed during the quarantine. This leads to a decrease in our activity level. Most of us are guilty of using our gadgets half of the day avoiding all productivity. Eating too much and exercising little triggers an extremely negative change in the dynamics of our body. You should be aware of that! 

Stress due to poor workplace ergonomics 

Are you guilty of using your laptop in your bed? Then this one is for you. Using a laptop while lying on bed causes major stress on your spine. Poor posture and awkward positions lead to spine degeneration. It is necessary to mention that the spine is in the least stress while lying. However, bending and twisting activities multiplies this stress by many folds. 

We have talked about the problem, and it’s terrifying. So let’s move on to the solution, shall we?  

Get a move on!

The number one tip is to stay active. Exercise even if your favourite gym is closed. Follow any workout course and stick to it! Yes, we know… you cannot avoid using your laptop. It is your bread and butter, or will contribute to you getting your bread and butter in the future (in case you’re a student!) However, you can add healthy activities in your daily routine. Fight the couch potato within you! 

Organize your workplace

Make sure your laptop is placed at a proper height. The angle between your eyes and laptop should be appropriate. Use an office chair. Sit nicely with an erect posture. Or, perhaps, you would prefer being a grumpy old grandpa at the age of 30? 

Turned-off Silver Imac

How to relieve back pain? 

First things first, avoid the stressors. People mostly experience back pain due to bending and twisting activities. We will give you some quick tips to relieve this pain. However, this is not an alternative for a physiotherapist visit.  

Pro tips:

  • Place a heating pad at your back for 15 mins. 
  • Lie on your stomach for 10-15 mins. If the pain increases, stop the activity at once. 
  • Lie on your stomach with a pillow beneath your chest. 

How to relieve neck pain? 

Pro tips: 

  • Place a heating pad on your neck for 15 mins.
  • Perform neck isometrics. 
  • Stretch your neck muscles. 
Woman in Beige Dress Stretching Her Hands

Quarantine has brought with it both mental and physical health risks. It is up to you to become more productive and follow a healthy lifestyle. A better mental state always has a positive impact on physical health. Debbie Hampton aptly puts: 

“Take care of your mind, your body will thank you. Take care of your body, your mind will thank you.”

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