October 16th marks “World Spine Day” as part of the Bone and Joint Decade’s Action Week. Every year on this day, people from all over the world come together to raise awareness about the day.
Until 2012, World Spine Day was not as auspiciously celebrated as World Arthritis Day or World Osteoporosis Day. The first ever properly celebrated World Spine Day was in 2012, and every year since then this day has only received more and more attention.
WHY CELEBRATE WORLD SPINE DAY?
The following encompass the purpose behind the celebration of World Spine Day:
- To spread awareness regarding spine health and spinal disorders among the public, policy makers and inter-disciplinary health care community.
- To make available an opportunity and forum for discussion of spine health and the burden of disorders that come with it.
- To promote a collaborative approach and to take initiatives to ease the burden of spine-related disorders.
THIS YEAR’S THEME
The theme introduced this year is “Your Back at Work”. A few common spinal disorders such as back and neck pain, disc disease, scoliosis etc have a profound impact on a person’s overall health. Research studies have shown that improper posture and inactivity are major contributors to back pain and other related spinal disorders. This year’s theme is intuitive in that back and neck pain make one of the most common reasons of workplace sick leaves.
According to statistics provided by the official website of World Spine Day “50% of the working population will experience back or neck pain symptoms at least once per year.” They also quote a recent study according to which low back pain is ranked as one of the most “disabling” conditions and sixth in terms of usage and health funding.
It is anticipated that this theme will continue for up to 2 to 3 years. This year’s theme provides an excellent opportunity to spread awareness and put a spotlight on an area of health vastly underappreciated. It will also help in the prevention, management and education about the importance of spine disorders in the workplace. This will also bring the local, regional and global health communities to address the risk and burden of the problem and take initiatives to deal with it.
PREVENTION OF WORK-RELATED MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDERS (WMSDs)
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders refer to injury to the muscles, tendons, joints and discs. These are conditions in which the environment of the work-place and the performance of work significantly contribute to the condition, and/or the condition worsens with work conditions.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, examples of work conditions that may lead to WMSDs include routine lifting of heavy objects, daily exposure to whole body vibration, routine overhead work, work with the neck in chronic flexion position, or performing repetitive forceful tasks.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ON WORLD SPINE DAY?
It is each individual’s responsibility to spread awareness about World Spine Day. For sure, there must be at least one or a couple of people in your house who work in places that involve a lot of sitting.
Especially people who work in places like banks are prone to sit in poor postures and may be unaware of the consequences. A very simple thing each one of you can do is this:
- Write down one thing on a piece of paper about spine health
- Make sure it is written in bold
- Take a selfie with that note
- Post it on social media
- Tag three other friends to do the same
There it is: A simple way to be a part of the campaign!