Cases of joint, knee, back and neck pains up by 70% amid pandemic

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The lockdown induced by the Covid pandemic had brought life to a standstill. With movement restricted, the work-from-home culture took root and people were unwillingly forced to follow a sedentary lifestyle. However, the impact of all this has started to come out in the form of escalated issues of knee and joint pains, while the winter has amplified such issues.

The Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC), set up by the Central government as a tertiary care hospital for spinal issues, said that it has witnessed a rise of 70 per cent of patients coming with autoimmune disorders like arthritis and new patients of knee, neck, back and joints pain amid the pandemic.

Dr Maninder Shah Singh, Senior Consultant, Chief Foot & Ankle Services at ISIC, told IANS that work from home culture has caused another pandemic, that of knee, joints and spinal issues.

“Since lockdown, we have seen a 70 per cent rise in the number of patients coming with back, knee and joint pains. The cases were found especially among elderly patients as their restricted movement amplified their already existing issues,” he said.

Singh also said that a significant rise of such issues was seen among the young population.

“Poor ergonomics and sitting on laptops all day have resulted in back issues for many professionals. Their joints as well as muscles and tendons around them have stiffened due to following a sedentary lifestyle,” he said.

He also informed that a striking commonality was seen among the young patients as many of them complained of pain in the cervical spine area.” It was triggered due to overuse of mobile and gadgets,” he said.

In the last two months, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital has operated four such cases where the patients had to undergo spinal surgery.

Hospital doctors also informed IANS that it has experienced a significant spike in patients coming with complaints of back aches and neck stiffness.

Dr Yash Gulati, Senior Consultant, Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement at the hospital, said that with work from home in the past 7-8 months, more and more patients are reporting issues related to back pain.

“Most of these patients are in the age bracket of 25-40 years. Additionally, people who have had pre-existing back related issues have reported aggravated problems,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ISIC also said that overuse of gadgets has induced issues among children as well. It ranged from pain in the back and neck to psychological distress.

“Children, especially in the age group of 14 to 22 years are complaining of nagging back and neck pain the most, mainly caused by prolonged use of tabs and mobiles for gaming and chatting. Some of the children also suffered from attention deficit and got addicted to online games. Many have shown signs of depression due to less social interaction with friends and even the family,” Singh said.