Hospital OPDs across the country has been witnessing a 50 per cent rise in pediatric orthopaedic cases with children complaining of acute pain in the neck and back.
Doctors have attributed the rise in multiple skeletal issues among kids to incorrect posture during online classes. Experts said that this, in turn, can be blamed on increased screen exposure following school closure due to COVID-19, which made the children physically and mentally unwell.
Dr Shubhang Aggarwal, Orthopaedic and Robotic Joint Replacement Surgeon and Director at NHS Hospital in Jalandhar, said, "Wrong sitting postures coupled with almost zero physical activity are to be blamed."
"There is an increase of 50 per cent in pediatric orthopaedic cases. Most of these kids are overweight, have less stamina, suffer from anxiety and attention deficit disorder," Dr Aggarwal said.
According to Dr Surbhit Rastogi, Paediatric Orthopaedic Consultant, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, Vasant Kunj, many children have been experiencing cervical neck and back stiffness, which was otherwise observed among the working adult population, The New Indian Express reported.
Dr Rastogi said this is mainly attributed to kids being confined to their homes and not getting exposed to sunlight.
Rich Diet And Physical Exercises Needed
"It's important to observe some precautionary measures like having a calcium-rich diet, taking small breaks every half an hour, sunlight exposure, doing some stretching exercises, switching to ergonomic chairs with proper back support and adding some physical activities in the daily routine of kids," he said.
Even teachers should ensure that they dedicate five minutes for some fun stretching activities during online classes, he said. Ideally, one should stand upright for one minute after sitting for 10 minutes at a stretch.
Dr Rastogi said this helps strengthen back by ensuring proper blood circulation and maintaining muscle tone.
Parents should never ignore such back and neck issues in their children and visit an orthopaedic if there is any such complaint.
"Parents should be concerned when their kids complain of neck and back pain, even if an initial x-ray exam doesn't reveal an issue."
"When children complain of back pain, about a third of the time there's a serious reason, whether due to an injury, infection or a tumour. They should be immediately rushed to the hospital," added Dr Vishal Gupta, Orthopedic Surgeon, Ujala Cygnus Rainbow Hospital, Agra.