SRINAGAR: A few months before, Famida, 48, a housewife was barely able to walk or even sit for prayers. Household chores became an everyday challenge for her and she was practically handicapped as she was unable to walk more than 15 steps with a limp on her left side. An acute back pain forced her to sit and stand every few minutes which also presented a challenge for her.
A dejected Fahmeeda was presented to Dr. Mandeep Singh, Senior Consultant, Orthopaedics, Fortis Escorts Bone & Spine Institute (FEBSI), New Delhi who sees patients at Safa Marwa Hospital, 90 Feet Road, Srinagar.
Dr. Mandeep’s rigorous attention not only got Fahmida up and running again, she is now able to carry out most of her household chores as usual. The happiest moment for her is when she bowed down to offer her prayers. It was the singular moment of happiness for me when I prostrated before Allah to offer my prayers, a delighted Fahmida said.
The patient was suffering from chronic low back pain with pain radiating to both her lower limbs and weakness and numbness of toes, Dr Mandeep Singh said. She had difficulty in walking as she would get pain and heaviness in her legs after walking for some distance.
Dr Mandeep said that she was evaluated and diagnosed to have degenerative disc disease with pressure on the nerves at 2 levels. Surgery was done, wherein bone was removed to remove diseased disc and release pressure on the nerves, he said. Also spine was fixed with screws and bone grafting was done to achieve fusion. It is now 9 weeks post surgery, patient is walking pain-free and doing all her daily activities.
Dr Mandeep explained to me the surgical procedure and the treatment, Fahmida said. I was worried about the outcome. But when he explained why the procedure was important and how it could give me the freedom of mobility again, I felt I was in safe hands.
Dr Mandeep is alarmed at the incidence of spine problem and degenerative disc disease among Kashmiris. Since I started seeing patient in Kashmir there has been increase in the number of cases, he said.
Attributing the Kashmiri lifestyle as the main reason behind this disorder, Dr Mandeep said that sitting on the floor cross-legged was one of the main causes of back pain in Kashmiri people. I suggest all the patients to avoid sitting on floor, and use chairs, he said. In case of back pain, use chair while praying. Sitting puts maximum pressure on our spine as compared to standing or lying down.
In the process of sitting and standing from cross-leg we put lot of pressure on our joints, he said. We have seen people putting their hand on knees and then standing up from the floor or placing hand on the floor to life their body from cross-legged position. All these, lead to extreme pressure on knees and wrist.
For those who depend on computers for work, Dr Mandeep said that some preventive measures would largely alleviate the ill-effects of sitting on a chair. Ideally we should avoid sitting for prolonged hours on chair, we should get up after around 1 hr for few minutes, he said. The chair we sit on should be knee length high with a soft cushion at lower back. The monitor should be at eye-level, also elbows should be resting on the table or arm of chair while typing.
Working on prolonged hours on the computer at a stretch should be avoided and one should get in some form of exercise schedule, he said. Slouching on the chair should be avoided and one should sleep on bed and not on floor.
Faheemda is grateful to Dr. Mandeep and his team for giving her a new life of independence. I am able to walk more than 2 kilometers, sit on the floor to pray to the god; go about my daily chores in a normal way and most importantly do everything on my own, a cheerful Fahmida said.
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