Back Pain

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Before knowing about back pain, here is brief anatomy of a human back (spinal cord and related muscles). Human back compromises of 33 vertebrae, beginning from neck to lower back, 5 discs, and a complex network of muscles to support them, which facilitate the movements of the back. Ribs cage is attached to the upper-middle portion of the backbone and towards the lower end is the hip joint and in between, there is a cavity consisting of several body organs like kidney, stomach liver, etc. All vertebrae all piled upon each other, like a stack of coins, piled upon each other, however, the vertebrae are hollow from in between, and in that cavity lies the spinal cord that origins from the brain, through the neck, and tending towards the lower back.

Back Pain

With such a complex structure of the back, there’s always a chance that some complications might occur if proper care is not taken. Though there is no such definition of back pain, however, a sensation of pain, due to any complexity or abnormality in the back is termed as back pain.

Mostly it is believed that back pain is more frequent in older ages, however, a report by QI Spine Clinic on 20,000 individuals in 2017 revealed that 20% of individuals facing back problems are of age from 16 to 34. The most affected age group is of 36 to 54 years of age.  The study also revealed that 45% of the population neglect pain for the initial 7 weeks, which might lead to complications later on. Another article in eMedicineHealth revealed that 80% of the individuals suffer back pain at some point in time, and even after thorough research in the sample population, in 85% percent of cases, no one single specific reason the same was observed. So, it is often advised to take good care of the backbone and muscles via regular exercise and routine body checkups.

Common Causes of Back Pain:


Here are some of the possible causes of back pain:

Strain: It causes swelling in muscles and tissues that results in pain. Generally caused by strained muscles or ligaments or maybe a result of some injuries occurred due to an accident earlier.

Structural problems: As each vertebra in the spine is cushioned by disks, so any kind of rupturing and bulging in disc creates pressure on the nerve resulting in back pain.

Degenerative disc disease: The discs, or “shock absorbers” between the spine’s vertebrae get shrink after again. It causes spaces between disc & narrow that causes rubbing of bones which then causes excess pressure on the spine, which results in back pain. Mostly this problem tends to rise with increasing age.

Skeletal irregularities: This is a medical condition in which the spine gets curvatures more than normal and curves somehow turn inward or misalignment happens in it, this usually cause pain after middle age among peoples. Obesity is one of the major causes of this situation.

Wrong movement and postures: Sometimes wrong postures during exercise, weight lifting, pulling, or pushing something in the wrong way, overstretching our body or sudden jerk makes us uncomfortable for the day.

Remaining sedentary: A sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor of lower back pain. Sitting in the same position for a long time also affects our back as sitting in front of computers while working or driving for a long time results in back pain.

Spinal stenosis: In this medical condition, the spinal canal gets narrowed adding, etc pressure on spines and nerves, it also makes leg and shoulder feel numb. It reduces space for nerves. It generally happens after 60 years of age.

Poor sleep: Apart from sleeping postures, there’s also the importance of mattress on which we are sleeping. Sleeping on the wrong mattress that is not comfortable for the spine results in back pain.

Stress: Stress is one of the causes of back pain, the connection between stress and back pain is when stress manifests physically, it causes muscle tightening around shoulder and spine, thereby resulting in back pain.

Vitamin D deficiency: It’s related to musculoskeletal function in our body and its deficiency can cause several problems in our body that causes pain in muscles and lower back pain is one of them.

Some medical conditions: Cancer of spine, infection in the spine are some issues related to back pain also “shingles” a medical condition in which nerves get affected with blisters on the skin that results in back pain in the lumbar spine.

Risk factors: There are some risk factors such as smoking, occupational activities related to such postures, genetic factors in some, excessive weight, pregnancy, etc. are some reasons that are also responsible for back pain.


Avoid sitting in the same position for a longer duration:


Staying in the same posture for a prolonged period is one of the major causes of back pain. Avoid sitting in the same position for a long duration as it stresses our spinal disc & causes pain in our back. It is idle to take a few minutes break & take a short walk after every hour of continuous sitting in order to reduce stress on the spinal disc.

Exercise Regularly:


Exercises play a vital role in strengthening our muscles. Incorporating activities like walking, running, exercising, swimming, jogging, yoga, etc. in our daily routine will help us in improving blood circulation, muscle & joint health & increases the flexibility of spinal bones, thereby reduces back pain.

Healthy Eating:

A healthy diet is key to a healthy life. Thus it is very important for each one of us to inculcate the habit of a healthy diet in our daily life. A healthy diet strengthens our body & boost up our immunity system, which helps us recover from all sorts of injuries & pain.

We should increase our daily intake of calcium, vitamins & fibers, as they provide much-needed power to our muscles & help them grow stronger. And we can do so by adding milk, fruits, fish, eggs, meat, beans, nuts, green vegetables, etc. to our diet.

Drink more water:

Not drinking enough water can also be the cause of muscle pain as water is considered as muscle fuel & not having it enough leads to an imbalance of the electrolytes & minerals that hampers the functioning of muscles & nerves that leads to pain & injuries. In order to avoid such conditions, one must drink at least 11 to 12 cups of water daily & provide our muscles their much-needed fuel to stay healthy & fit.

Maintain good body posture:


These days most of us use mobile phones & laptops a lot, which might lead to bending of our neck for longer hours which could reflect in stiffness in the neck. Also while doing basic day to day activities like lifting up a bucket or a bag or some other weights, you can bend your knees while doing so, as most of us do it by virtue of bent back, rather than knees, doing so will distribute the workload over knees & back equally, leading to better postures, as a strain or sprain in the back could reflect in back or neck pain.

Maintain good posture while sleeping & use good quality mattress:

Poor posture strains out our muscles which leads to pain around the neck & back area. Our body heals when we sleep & if our muscles are not at ease then how will they heal. Thus, good sleeping posture is very essential to avoid pain around the neck & back area. Also, the right mattress provides support to our spine when we are asleep. Therefore, it is important to use a good quality of mattress for a good night’s sleep & to avoid back pain.

When to See a Doctor?

So, in many instances, back pain tends to get okay with some remedies. In some cases, even if you lift a heavyweight, it may lead to a stiff back, but with proper rest and sleep, these things get okay. But in some cases, you might need to consult a doctor, such as when:

  • Sometimes there is a continuous stiffness, continuing for days or weeks and might get coupled up with pain in some days later, there is a chance that there might be some abnormality in a muscle or any part of the backbone and therefore you must consult a doctor.
  • Sometimes, in diseases like sciatica, the beginning symptom is just a mild pain in the lower region of the back, however, after some time the back pain extends to the buttock and upper regions of the legs, which can prove to be an unpleasant experience, and you might want to avoid it, so visit a doctor, as soon as you start to feel that things aren’t getting any better.
  • Sometimes, it might also happen, that on a day you wake up and you might feel stiffness in the back out of nowhere, and usually, such kind of pain might disappear automatically, however, if the pain is happening on a regular interval basis, and is expanding in terms of area and intensity, then now is the right time for you to make a visit to a doctor.
  • It is not necessary that you should consult a doctor only when you feel some problem, regular checkups by a qualified physician might help you to avoid any problems that might occur in the future.




Coronavirus ‘A Disaster’

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 The word “Coronavirus” is taken from Latin word Corona, which means Wreath or Crown and it is in an infective form. It is a pandemic disease that originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and has shaken the world. It is a family of hundreds of viruses that can cause the death of a person. It is a respiratory disease that continues to the entire world.

The WHO officially declared it as a pandemic disease as it is occurring over a vast geographic area and affecting a high proportion of people worldwide. Coronavirus is that disaster which we never thought of that it can happen to the world but now reality is this that almost every country is facing this outbreak. It has caused a global health emergency. Officially it is known as COVID -19. Novel coronavirus is a new strain and it is unfamiliar for our immune system.

How it spreads:

  • It transmits in droplets from sneezes or coughing and this has 2-14 days incubation period which
  • means people could be infectious before symptoms like cough, fever, or shortness of breath emerge.
  • It is mainly spreading from person to person. A person can become more vulnerable to the virus if he or she is already sick.
  • It spreads between people who are in close contact with each other.
  • When an infected person sneezes or coughs, then respiratory droplets are produced and can infect another person.
  • It is also possible that a person can get infected by just touching an object if that object is already touched by an infected person and then touching their mouth or eyes but this is not the main way of spread, although this can be the possibility.


  • Signs of infection are cough, fever, shortness of breath, or breathing problems.
  • In rare cases, Pneumonia and multiple organ failure can also be the signs.
  • Difficulty in breathing is only observed in people of old age and not in youths.
  • It has observed that few people who have been affected by coronavirus have no sense of smell.
  • These symptoms are to be shown from 2-14 days but mostly in infected people, these are shown within 5-6 days.


  • As this virus is not having a vaccine or any other treatment, so the only thing we can say is Precautions are better than cure. At this stage, it is more advisable for us to take more and more precautions as we can.
  • The first most important thing is to wash your hands especially before eating or touching your nose or eyes and avoid contact with other people who have flu-like symptoms.
  • Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Don’t go outside and stay at home if you are sick.
  • Don’t touch your nose, mouth, and eyes and use a tissue to cover a sneeze or cough and then throw it in the trash.
  • Use a spray to disinfect light switches, desks, sinks, toilets, cell phones, keyboards, doorknobs, and other objects which are frequently touched.
  • Wear masks when you go outside.
  • Don’t eat junk food, eat healthy food, and drink plenty of water.
  • Try to be at your home, avoid traveling and avoid outing if it is not very urgent

Myths of Coronavirus:

Snow and Cold weather cannot kill the virus

Snow and cold weather can’t kill the virus and it is a myth because a normal human body temperature remains around 36.5 to 34 degrees.

A hot bath doesn’t prevent the virus

Taking a hot shower does not prevent the virus as we know normal body temperature remains around 36.5 to 37 degrees regardless of the temperature of your water. Actually, by taking a bath with extremely hot water might burn you. So, don’t go for it and just keep your hygiene.

Does Virus transmit through mosquito?

The virus cannot be transmitted through mosquito; this is not yet confirmed to date. This virus is a respiratory virus that spreads through droplets generated from an infected person. So the best way to protect yourself is to Stay Away from Sick people.

Hand dryers are effective in killing the virus

Hand dryers are effective in eliminating virus and it’s a myth. Rather use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Will an ultraviolet lamp kill the virus?

An ultraviolet lamp will kill the virus, but it’s not, rather it will irritate your skin.

Will spraying alcohol work in killing the virus?

Spraying alcohol on your body will kill the virus but it doesn’t. Because the virus enters the body through nose or mouth, it doesn’t remain on the body and if you spray alcohol, it might irritate your eyes or mouth. Alcohol is used to disinfect surfaces or objects, not human beings.

Do vaccines against Pneumonia protect you from the virus?

No, This virus is new and different and researchers are trying to develop an effective vaccine for particular this disease, and WHO is supporting this. Although these vaccines are effective for respiratory-related problems but not for coronavirus.

Rinsing nose regularly with saline will help to prevent infection

No, there is no such evidence that by rinsing the nose with saline will help in preventing infection. Although there is limited evidence that by rinsing the nose with saline can help in common cold. It doesn’t help with respiratory problems.

Eating garlic will reduce the chances of being infected

No. It is right to say that garlic is a healthy food as it is having antimicrobial properties but there is no such evidence that it will protect from coronavirus.

Does it affect mainly older people?

It will be very illogical to say that it mainly affects older people. In fact, this virus can affect people of all ages whether it’s a person age 99 or 9. But yes, older people who are suffering from asthma, diabetes, or heart disease are more vulnerable to this virus.

Antibiotics are effective in treating this virus

No. These are taken only for bacteria, not for virus. So these should not be used as a prevention of coronavirus. However, if you are hospitalized for this virus, you may receive these as there is a possibility of bacterial co-infection.

Is there any specific medicine available for this virus?

No. To date, there is no specific medicine to prevent or treat this virus. One can only do is just take care of yourself and follow all preventive measures cautiously.

State-wise helpline numbers for coronavirus:

Andhra Pradesh – 0866-2410978

Arunachal Pradesh – 9536055743

Assam – 6913347770

Bihar – 104

Chhattisgarh – 07712235091

Goa – 104

Gujarat – 104

Haryana – 8558893911

Himachal Pradesh – 104

Jharkhand – 104

Karnataka – 104

Kerala – 0471-2552056

Madhya Pradesh – 0755-2527177

Maharashtra – 020-26127394

Manipur – 3852411668

Meghalaya – 9366090748

Mizoram – 102

Nagaland – 7005539653

Odisha – 9439994859

Punjab – 104

Rajasthan – 0141-2225624

Sikkim – 104

Tamil Nadu – 044-29510500

Telangana – 104

Tripura – 104

Uttarakhand – 104

Uttar Pradesh – 18001805145

West Bengal – 3323412600

Helpline numbers of Union Territories:

Andaman and Nicobar Island – 03192-232102

Chandigarh – 9779558282

Dadra and Nagar Haveli And Daman & Diu – 104

Delhi – 011-22307145

Jammu and Kashmir – 1912520982/0194-2440283

Ladakh – 1982256462

Lakshadweep – 4896263742

Puducherry – 104

There is no need to be scared of this virus, just take care of yourself. Stay at home, eat healthily, drink plenty of water, avoid being social, avoid traveling, wash your hands frequently, and be positive.




What is Arthritis?

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The term ‘Arthritis’ a Greek term which means ‘diseases of the joints’. As the name suggests, arthritis is not just the name of one particular disease rather it is a broad terminology that covers a group of around 100 diseases. These diseases have everything to do with our joints, the places where two or more bones connect, such as- fingers, wrists, knees, hips, etc.

Arthritis causes a physical discomfort where two or more bones meet, ranging from mild to disabling. Joints provide support and help us move, thus, any kind of damage to the joints from disease or injury can interfere in our movement and cause a lot of pain.

In our country, every tenth person is suffering from some of the other types of arthritis. If we the maths, more than 180 million people are suffering from arthritis in India, & the main reason being an unhealthy lifestyle, improper diet & lack of physical activities of people.

Types of Arthritis:

Arthritis is a problem related to the inflammation of joints. As mentioned earlier there are around 100 types of arthritis but some of the most common types include:

  1. Osteoarthritis: It is one of the most common forms of arthritis found all around the world. In Osteoarthritis, the cartilages, which act as a protective cushion between the bones wear off or are broken down, due to which the friction is caused between the bones which thereby causes pain & discomfort in movement. Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint but is most commonly caused in knees, hips, spine & hands. The problem of osteoarthritis gets worsen with time & age. The damages caused to the joints due to osteoarthritis cannot be reversed but we can reduce the chances of any future damages by inculcating the habit of active life, healthy diet, healthy weight & proper medications.
  1. Rheumatoid Arthritis: It is an autoimmune disease that is caused when our body produces autoantibodies instead of antibodies. These autoantibodies tend to target joints & thereby cause Rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused in both the sides of a body, i.e. if we are witnessing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in the joints of the right hand in our body, then we will probably develop those symptoms on the joints of left hand too. Rheumatoid arthritis is best treated when diagnosed early. If any symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis are noticed, one should seek medical help as early as possible as this type of arthritis causes major damage to the body of a person. There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis but it can be managed with the help of medical treatments.
  1. Fibromyalgia: It is a disorder that causes musculoskeletal pain along with fatigue, sleeping disorders, memory loss & mood swings. It affects the way our brain processes pain signals in our bodies. It is caused due to various reasons such as- stress, physical trauma, surgery, etc. Researchers say that symptoms of Fibromyalgia are developed gradually, they are not triggered due to any single event. There are no cures for this type of arthritis but with the help of medical supervision & treatments, its adversity can be managed.
  1. Gout: It is a very complex type of arthritis that can affect anyone irrespective of their age or gender. It is caused when there is a deposition of needle-like crystals of uric acid in a joint. Its symptoms include- redness, swollen joints, formations of tophi, etc. It can only be treated with the help of medications that reduce the level of uric acid in the body. If Gout is left untreated it can cause severe damage to joints & can also lead to kidney problems & tophi.

Causes of Arthritis:

Well, there is no single cause for all types of arthritis. The causes of arthritis change according to its type. For example, Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that is caused when our body produces autoantibodies instead of antibodies. Whereas, Osteoarthritis is caused when the cartilage between the two bones breaks down, causing the bones to rub together.

Most types of arthritis are caused by a combination of reasons but sometimes it also occurs without any obvious reasons. Certain risk factors increase the chances of a person being affected by arthritis. Some of these are mentioned below-

  • Family History: Certain types of arthritis runs from one generation to another. So if the parents have arthritis, their children are likely to have it too. Genes of a person can make him more susceptible to the environment that may trigger arthritis.
  • Age: The risk of certain types of arthritis increases with age, such as Osteoarthritis, which is caused due to breakage of cartilages which is likely to happen more with the increasing age.
  • Sex: There are certain types of arthritis which are more common in a specific gender. For example, women are more likely to have Rheumatoid arthritis, whereas men are more likely to be affected by gout arthritis than women.
  • Injury or Illness: People who have suffered from a joint injury in past, probably while playing a sport or in an accident, are more likely to suffer from arthritis in there later phase of life.
  • Immunity System Dysfunction: Sometimes our body by mistake produces autoantibodies instead of antibodies, which target healthy cells instead of pathogens. These autoantibodies when target joints, it causes a specific type of arthritis called Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Obesity: An obese person is more likely to suffer from arthritis as carrying excess amount of weight puts a lot of stress on joints, especially on the spine, hips & knees which thereby causes the problem of arthritis.
  • Smoking: Smoking not only causes disease but also accelerates the progression of symptoms severely. The person who smokes is more likely to arthritis symptoms is three times more likely to test positive of arthritis than its non-smoker counterpart.

When to see a Doctor..?

In this era of hectic schedules & unhealthy lifestyle, it is very common to experience pain & aches in joints & muscles every now & then, especially when we get involved in certain unusual or strenuous physical activities which we are not prepared for. For example, playing sports without warming up, lifting weight, etc.

But then the conflict occurs when we don’t know how to differentiate between normal pain or stiffness & early signs of arthritis. Or in other words, when to see Doctor..?

Well, the simple answer to this complicated question is self-assessment. You have to see whether the swelling or stiffness is caused due to any unusual strenuous activity or have just happened without any physical strain or solid reason. And if the swelling or stiffness doesn’t go away in a few days or becomes painful to touch, then it is the time to consult a doctor. As, if the problem is diagnosed early, then it can be treated well & is easily cured. So be mindful & consult a good orthopedic doctor if any symptom of arthritis occurs.

Early signs & symptoms of Arthritis:

Generally speaking, the early symptoms of any disease are very vague & hard to realize. But this is not the case in arthritis. Most patients of arthritis feel pain, swelling, stiffness, etc. for a certain period of time & then the pain, swelling, etc. goes away for a while but then comes again & again after certain gaps. Symptoms of arthritis differ from person to person, some may have very mild symptoms & some sever. Some of the common symptoms of arthritis include:

  • Early morning joint stiffness, that can last up to 30 minutes or more.
  • Tiredness of knees
  • Pain, stiffness, or swelling in joints.
  • Redness around the affected joints.
  • Fatigue or a general feeling of being unwell.
  • Mild fever or night sweats
  • Decreased range of motions.
  • Deformities of joints, such as- knock knees, bow legs, etc.