Heavy bags can harm the spine, finds study

Heavy bags can harm  the spine, finds study

Did you know that carrying heavy stylish bags, laptop bags and even schoolbags could cause spinal problems among people?

Well, a preliminary study being conducted by a group of paediatricians and other doctors in Bangalore points to such a hazard.

The report of the study being done to ascertain the causes of increasing spinal problems in youth and children will be submitted to the World Health Organisation and at the Commonwealth of Nations meeting in the first week of February. Further, a training programme based on the recommendations will be conducted for doctors and paediatricians. According to doctors, spinal health-related problems are gradually becoming the third biggest health hazard after asthma and cardiovascular diseases.

Talking to Deccan Herald, Dr H Paramesh, Medical and Managing Director of Lakeside Medical Centre and Hospital, also the convener of the team of doctors under the Commonwealth Trisector Preventive Health Foundation, said this was the first time such a study was being undertaken.

He said it was important because a large number of patients approached doctors with related issues, but how many suffered from the problem was not known. Heads of various medical organisations, including hospitals and colleges, will participate in the training programme. They will also give their inputs for the study.

Preliminary studies have shown that heavy schoolbags carried by children were one of the major causes for spinal cord problems. The team has suggested that a schoolbag should not weigh more than 7-10 per cent of a child’s body weight. Another interesting finding the study indicates is that elders, especially women, also suffer from spinal cord problems. This is because of the stylish, yet heavy, shoulder bags and laptop bags they
carry.

Another aspect the study has found is that eight per cent of the children have sleep disorders, which also lead to spinal problems. Also, the way people sit in front of the computer or laptop and work, the way they sit on the couch to relax and watch television, contribute to the problem.

“The study is being done because many patients are coming up with spinal problems; they have turtle neck, angulated necks and backs, obstructive lung diseases, elevated angulated shoulders, barrel chest and spinal curvatures. We do not know what percentage of people in Bangalore suffer from these problems and what are the actual causes. This study is to ascertain it and find permanent solutions to the problem,” said Dr Paramesh.

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