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Bad Posture, Back Pain and Spinal Surgery | How the 3 Are Connected

by Dr. G. Balamurali |December 30, 2019 | Back Pain

How can bad posture lead to back pain?

Back pain is widespread. People get it quite often and for all sorts of reasons. But there are some cases where the pain is a symptom of a severe issue like a damage in the spine. In these circumstances, corrective surgery may also be required. In this post, we dive into how the wrong sitting posture can exacerbate pain and the surgery that resolves it.

  • Wrong posture = Back ache

If your daily routine involves repetitive action in your back, it puts stress on your spine. For example, lifting heavy weights every day, performing physical labour, or even sitting at a desk for hours together. All these create tension on your back which leads to muscle tightness. Slowly, the muscles begin to wear and tear. This causes pain.

How does the wrong posture cause spinal pain?

The spine is made of three natural curves:

  • The cervical curve – it is the curve in the neck that bends backward.
  • The thoracic curve – it is the curve on the upper back that bends forward.
  • The lumbar curve – it is the curve in the lower back that bends backward.

A bad posture means these three curves are not in balance because the weight of the body is not distributed equally on the two sides. When you sit with the wrong posture for a long time, it puts pressure on the spine, pulling it in the wrong direction. Ultimately, it results in:

  • Strain on the joints.
  • Stress on ligaments and muscles.
  • Slowly, the uneven distribution of weight changes the natural curvature of the spine leading to chronic pain.

How spinal surgery helps relieve pain?

When the curvature of the spine is distorted, it is brought back to shape with surgery. The prevalent one is called fusion surgery, but various methods can be utilized based on the level of damage.

  • What is fusion surgery?

When the spine is bent, rods and screws are put in the spine to correct the deformity. The spinal cord is also realigned to its original position. Moreover, the doctors decompress the nerve roots, remove any degeneration or compression. Fusion surgery is exceptionally tricky. Therefore, it needs not only an expert spinal neurosurgeon in Chennai but also advanced equipment as it can be tricky.

That said, the latest medical equipment has made any kind of spine surgery more efficient and much safer than before. While doctors can perform the operation without these gadgets, they make the procedure more effective. To decide if and what kind of tech to use for the surgery, the healthcare practitioner looks at:

  • Are they going to give the patient a better outcome?
  • Will it help reduce the complexity of the case?
  • Is the tech going to be advantageous to the doctors while treating the person?

An example of spine surgery to combat pain

One technology that is put to use to correct the spine is the Neuro Navigation, which shows a digital map of the spine and the neural system of the patient. It gives the doctor an idea of what is right ahead while operating. Because the surgeon knows precisely where they are, they can easily avoid accidents in other parts.

Without the Neuro Navigation, the surgeons use X-rays to see where they are. This is not feasible because frequently using radiation is harmful to the staff. The latest tech makes possible even the most complex of surgeries like in pediatric cases and completely deformed spines.

Another way to spine surgery to reduce pain is through the neuromonitoring system. The system is an excellent addition to the field because it helps prevent any incidences that lead to damage to the spinal cord. During the procedure, the person’s spine is connected to the machine via a wire. The wire sends tiny electrical signals to the spine throughout the procedure. If the surgeons touch the spine even barely, the machine triggers an alarm. This allows them to be extremely careful.

In conclusion,

There is some doubt if bad posture can directly cause sufficient back pain that it requires surgery. But everyone agrees that wrong posture can worsen already present backaches and that surgical intervention is needed to correct it. Therefore, it is always advised to have the right posture to prevent any constant wear and tear.

Furthermore, age and a bad lifestyle can lead to aggravated back pain. If that is the case, always consult a doctor to find the right solution. With their expertise and the correct surgical technology, they will be able to correct it.

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Dr. G. Balamurali

Dr. G. Balamurali

Internationally trained Spinal Neurosurgeon with 24 years of surgical experience, from UK. Extensively trained in all niche aspects of spinal surgery as part of 3-year fellowship in the UK (Liverpool & Nottingham), USA (San Francisco & Chicago) and Switzerland (Zurich). Senior Spine and Neurosurgeon in India since 2011. Read more

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