Young business man holding his lower back at work

Lose the Back Pain at Work

In today’s time and age with the wide scale spread of the corporate culture, the majority of the people spend their days working at a desk and in front of a laptop. Despite not having to do anything physical or strenuous that might strain the back directly, this makes people susceptible to back pain irrespective of the age. Long working hours coupled with long commutes only serve to exacerbate the gradual damage that can be caused by having a bad posture.

The ill-effects of sitting with poor posture for a few hours is not immediate, but over time the stress that poor posture places on your spine can lead to anatomical changes in your spine. This, in turn, can provoke back pain through the constriction of your blood vessels and nerves. Back pain due to poor posture is characterised by the following symptoms, firstly, it is worse at certain times of the day. Secondly, it starts in the neck and moves down to the upper and lower back. Thirdly, the pain subsides once you switch positions or stand. And finally, it might coincide with a chair or a new car. However, despite the ill effects of slouching during work or while driving, there are a few remedies to prevent the onset of back pain. These include;

  • Straighten your head: Ensure that your head is straight above your neck and shoulders. Straining forward to work on your laptop can put pressure on your spine.
  • Change the position of your mouse: Your mouse should be right next to your keyboard. This prevents your wrist and shoulder from over-reaching and twisting.
  • Pick a comfortable chair: Pick a chair with good back support and a comfortable cushion at the base so that your tailbone is not subjected to additional pressure.
  • Adopt the correct breathing posture: Make sure that when inhaling your stomach moves outwards, away from the spine. And when exhaling, it comes inwards towards the spine. A correct breathing posture maintains the stability of the core, which in turn maintains a correct form for the upper body.
  • Sit within reach: Sitting too far away from the laptop can cause you to lean forward while typing and reading, thereby resulting in a curved back which would gradually manifest itself as your default posture while sitting.
  • Feet on the floor: Ensure that your feet are planted on the floor in order to ease the tension in your knees and ankles. When your feet are planted on the floor it also ensures that you lean back and use the lumbar support of your chair.
  • Take breaks: Getting up to use the washroom, to walk till the water cooler or even to stretch reduces pressure on the spinal disks and boost circulation.
  • Stretch your shoulders: Shoulder rolls and shoulder raises help to make your neck more flexible and allows for a greater blood circulation.
  • Do not sit cross-legged: Sitting cross-legged makes it difficult to keep your spine straight and shoulders squared, and you risk overstretching the muscles around the pelvis, increasing your risk of varicose veins by interrupting blood flow.
  • Do not cradle your phone: Cradling your phone while multitasking puts enormous strain on your neck. This should be prevented by using a Bluetooth headset or headphones.

Most of us get backaches at some point in time caused by repeated activities at work or at home. There is a lot that can be done to prevent this from happening. Being physically active and maintaining a healthy body weight are ideally important to have a healthy lifestyle. In addition to this certain simple practices by maintaining a good posture can help go a long way. However, if any of these practices do cause increased pain, it is best to consult a physician.

Dr. Abul Kalam Kolangara Parambath

Specialist General Medicine

Aster Clinic, Abu Hail  

Dr. Abul Kalam - Abu Hail

http://asterclinic.ae/doctor/general-medicine-specialist-dubai/

facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Read More

World kidney day

Obesity Fuels Chronic Kidney Diseases

A health survey conducted by the Dubai Health Authority in collaboration with the Dubai Statistics Centre revealed that 11.9% of people in Dubai suffer from obesity.[i] The growing issue of obesity plays a key role in reducing people’s life expectancy and causes several severe health conditions. Obesity is a combination of factors including high calorie intake, lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle practices etc. Obesity is now a growing phenomenon across the globe and is one of the key factors responsible for a number of chronic diseases including kidney diseases.

Obesity causes mortality due to diabetes, stroke, conditions of the heart, certain cancers etc. However, a rarely discussed and rather unknown fact is the link between obesity and its consequences on the kidney. Obesity is directly linked to chronic kidney diseases (CKD) and its progression because obesity facilitates diabetes and hypertension which are the two common causes of kidney conditions. Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most used parameter to determine obesity, however, the waist circumference or waist to hip ratio is a better indicator of chronic health conditions. Obesity influences chronic kidney conditions in two ways; an obese individual is at a higher risk of diabetes and high BP which are causative factors of CKD. On the other hand, an obese individual’s kidneys will have to function much harder for the process of filtration in order to meet the demands of a person with higher BMI. An obese individual can also be at the risk of having kidney failure.

Obesity is reported to be one of the leading causes for chronic kidney conditions and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The end stage of chronic kidney conditions is called ESRD when they kidneys are no longer able to function to its ability on a daily basis.

The most common kidney damaging conditions are;

Polycystic kidneys: is a condition where a person has multiple cysts in the kidneys causing it to enlarge. This condition is generally a birth defect.

Kidney stones: or Nephrolithiasis are hard mineral deposits made of acid salts that form inside the kidney or urinary tract. People who take medicines for gout are at a risk of kidney stones, dehydration is also a cause for the condition.

Proteinuria: a condition developed when there is abnormal protein in the urine. Albumin is a protein found in the human blood because the body needs it to fight infections, build muscle etc. The function of the human kidney is to filter the blood and remove things that aren’t required by the body. There will be an underlying cause for proteinuria which needs evaluation.

Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis: is a condition caused by scarring of the kidney. This condition may be caused due to primary or secondary reasons. The primary reason of scarring being no obvious cause, the secondary reason may be caused by another pre-existing condition, a prescribed drug, obesity or any other underlying condition.

Glomerulonephritis: is a condition causing inflammation of the Glomeruli (the kidney cell). This can lead to Hypertension, blood in the urine and proteinuria. In certain cases, this can progress to acute kidney failure.

It is extremely important to keep your kidney healthy for it to function to its full capability. Your blood sugar needs to be in control, failing which will cause diabetes. Keeping your body and mind fit by staying active helps in keeping the body fit and healthy. Water is key to prevent kidney conditions, drinking water flushes out the toxins from the kidneys and reduces the chance of kidney stones. Smoking is a causative factor for a number of health conditions, and it is always best to quit it. Certain over the counter medications may also cause kidney damage. This does not mean that they should not be taken at all, however, a physician must be consulted before self-medication. Routine medical checks are important to screen for chronic kidney conditions and for those who aren’t aware of the health risks they have. An obese individual must be aware of the positive impacts of losing weight which will include prevention and reduction of various chronic health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases and kidney conditions.

Every year, March 9th is celebrated as World Kidney Day with the aim of educating people about the importance of kidney health and the diseases associated with the kidney. This year World Kidney Day goes by the theme of ‘kidney disease and obesity’ because obesity is a potential risk factor for kidney diseases which is an unknown fact. Obesity and chronic kidney conditions are both preventable, upon undertaking healthy lifestyle practices. This kidney day lets us all promise ourselves to ensure adopting and advocating healthy lifestyle practices to beat the harmful health consequences of obesity and related kidney diseases.

Dr. John Cherian Varghese

Specialist Nephrologist 

Aster Clinic & Hospital 

Dr. John Cherian

[i] –  http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/health/survey-12-of-dubai-population-is-obese-1.1838295

facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Read More

Untitled design (29)

Aster Kids introduces students to Emergency First Aid Training via the Aster Scouts Initiative

Aster Kids organized the very first ‘Aster Scouts’ session on Wednesday, 22nd February at Aster IVF and Women Clinic. The event was aimed at educating school going students about the basics of emergency first aid care. This particular session, being the first of many to come, was attended by 22 students, from grades 7 to 9, of the Gulf Indian School, Dubai. The students took part in the interactive training sessions, demonstrative safety measures and an open quiz.

The primary goals of the Aster Scouts initiative are to, firstly, imbue school going children with the ability and knowledge to identify a first aid situation. And secondly, to provide them with first aid training, given by a certified instructor, so that they can take prompt action in the advent of a first aid emergency.

The Aster Scouts initiative was established to teach the school going children of Dubai, the basics of emergency first aid response, until the arrival of Emergency Services to their location. This was the first ever Aster Scouts Session to take place, with a view on enlisting more schools to send their pupils for subsequent events. The training was carried out by Mr. Roshlal, a Certified First Aid Training Instructor at Aster Hospital Mankhool.

During the course of two hours, the children were taught about the various emergency situations that might occur at home and elsewhere, in a fun and interactive manner. These emergency situations included fractures, vomiting, breathlessness and choking. Special emphasis was placed on first aid for choking, due to the large number of incidents of choking that occur with school going children. The demonstrations were all performed live, with the use of a mannequin in order to recreate real life situations. At the end of the training, the children were given special sashes and caps, which commemorated their participation and their newly acquired knowledge.

Aster Scouts is a children oriented health engagement training program organized by Aster Kids and run by Aster Hospital and Clinic that is developed to equip and educate young children about healthy living at a very young age. Aster Kids regularly conducts community initiatives, geared at teaching children the basics of health, wellness and safety.

News Source :- http://gulftoday.ae/portal/b61e5465-3432-49e3-a78b-617aba6f25ca.aspx

 

facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Read More

vaccination 1

Don’t Wait, Vaccinate

Going on a vacation is an exciting time for everybody. Your bags are packed, your tickets are booked and you can’t wait to get on that plane that will take you to your destination. All the excitement and anticipation, however, can often cause people to disregard one simple additional task, getting vaccinated.

You don’t need to get vaccinated whenever you travel, but international travel particularly, makes you vulnerable to getting afflicted by diseases and disorders that you might not have been vaccinated for previously because those vaccine-preventable diseases might be rare in your country. However, some types of international travel, especially to developing countries and rural areas, may have higher health risks. These risks depend on a number of things including where and when you are travelling, the age you are off, any specific health condition you suffer from and your vaccination history.

The World Health Organization defines a vaccine as a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. Some vaccinations are generally recommended while others are specifically required when travelling to a particular country. It is very important to gain knowledge about the vaccinations that you may be required to take, at least 4 weeks in advance. This will help the body to develop immunity and also some vaccinations may involve multiple doses spread over several weeks.

The first step to ensuring that you are properly vaccinated before your travels are to consult a specialist physician with your immunisation records. Vaccinations have a number of advantages that we generally tend to disregard. They help prevent diseases that can be easily passed onto those who aren’t vaccinated. We live in a time and age where people travel across the globe easily, and it is only easier for diseases to travel and pass on from person to person.

Vaccinations are as important for an individual’s personal health as is eating right and staying fit. Yet many people do not get themselves or their children vaccinated as recommended, causing them to be vulnerable to illnesses. Vaccinations can actually help prevent certain conditions, like breast cancer, HIV/AIDS etc. A number of people lose their lives each year to such vaccine-preventable diseases. Pregnant women, infants and adults with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or those with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases during travel. These complications can include long-term illness, hospitalisation, and even death. Immunisation is considered one of the greatest public health achievements and experts agree that immunisation is key to staying healthy.

Vaccinations are not just for an individual’s better health, it is about staying healthy yourself and protecting a community. Travel vaccinations are particularly necessary because you are likely to develop health issues that you didn’t have at home in foreign lands.

It is however not guaranteed that a vaccination will protect you from a disease and you will not develop a particular disease because of the vaccination. However, following a healthy travel routine can help to stay away and safe from infectious diseases. A shot that lasts less than 10 seconds could save you from pain and ill health, and make your trip one remember. It is of utmost importance to pack good health for the trip.

 

Dr.Samer Nours Alfil 

Specialist General Medicine 

Aster Clinic, Al Barsha 

Samer-Nours-Alfil - Barsha

*Aster Clinics are running special vaccination campaigns for Umrah. For more information and appointments, visit – http://asterclinic.ae/vaccination/

facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Read More