In today´s society, we suffer badly from back and neck pain. We want to know why and how to avoid this kind of pain. Dubai Fashion News asked Dr. Adel Roujoula. This Lebanese Doctor is specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy. He studied and practiced in Lebanon, Canada, and the USA and now has a private office in Dubai.
THE INTERVIEW: DR. ADEL ROUJOULA
Dr. Adel, today so many of us suffer from back pain. Why is that?
The first and most important reason is our bad sitting posture! We are so engrossed in using the latest technologies like phones, laptops, iPad etc. these things force us to sit for long hours and in a bad position causing pain for most people.
What can we do to avoid our backs to hurt?
Just following these few basic guidelines will make a difference already.
- When we sit, we must ensure that we are sitting straight. We can use reminders to remind us to check our posture and sit straight.
- Watching the weight also helps.
- Engaging in some sport every day, even to 30 -45 minutes helps avoid joint and back pain.
Is stress something that can impact in our backs?
Physical and mental stress both affect pain. Physical stress, as mentioned previously, affects the disc, stress on joints while mental stress causes spasm in the vessels and veins. The muscle needs big blood flow in order to relax. So, if there is a lot of tension in vessels and veins, we don’t have enough blood flow to the muscles. That translates into patients ending up having muscle spasm causing a lot of pain.
THE PAINS OF TECHNOLOGY
And what about technology (or the use and abuse we do of it)?
The more the technology is advancing, the smaller the tools we use, the more we are abusing our backs and posture to work on these things. This can cause a lot of stress on the spine and consequently pain.
In case of accidents or severe injuries. How can physiotherapy help heal our bodies?
First of all, physical therapy helps to decrease pain. So, the patient will be able to practice his functions and daily life, do work, do groceries, and normal daily activities without pain.
It helps to increase the range of motion of the joint. If we want to move our hands, our hips, if we want to walk, we need a good range of motion in the joint. Physical therapy helps to increase this motion, so we will be able to function better.
Also, it helps to increase muscle strength. We all know we need strong muscles to be able to do our daily activities. Physical therapy with a specific exercise program helps strengthen our muscles, so functionally we will be able to move better. Definitely, physical therapy helps after accidents and injuries.
OUR OFFICES: A BATTLEFIELD
What are the common pains and aches people working in an office suffer most and how can we treat them?
The most common injury we find in people working in offices for long hours is back pain and neck pain. Definitely, the first approach to treat this is physical therapy. People now are more aware of the danger and side effects of medications including injections and pills. We all know that these are just painkillers and not really treating the problem that’s why they come back to physical therapy. It is also very important to not get too late in seeing a physical therapist. Because the more the people take time and delay, the more it will take time to heal and it will be harder to treat. Lastly, physical therapy is surely the first approach to any orthopedic problem.
Can sports benefit if you have a backache or we should wait until we are ok to start practicing again?
If it is safe, we should practice sports immediately after an accident as it helps to decrease the pain, but we should choose a suitable and convenient activity in each case. Like someone suffering from cervical disc cannot start weight lifting immediately while still in pain. Other types of exercises can help heal though. Sport is essential in every treatment after the problem arises.
PHYSIOTHERAPY IF BABIES ARE ON BOARD
When you are pregnant, most doctors refuse to give massages. Why is that?
Physical therapy is way different than a massage. Massage is a technique that helps to relax the muscles and it can be done by someone who has a course with a few months of massage training. That would be called Massage therapy. Physical therapy addresses more pathological problems, illnesses, orthopedic issues like discs, tendonitis, ligament injury, tendon injury, muscle injury, pain. So, massage therapy and physical therapy are totally different!
How can the pregnant ladies alleviate the strain of balancing a growing belly?
Definitely, every woman has to have strong abs muscles and back muscles, especially women who are planning to get pregnant. And even during pregnancy, there are specific exercise programs for women to allow them to endure this journey of pregnancy with less or even without pain. Physical therapy is not contradicted during pregnancy. Some techniques cannot be done during pregnancy but many and most techniques can be done during pregnancy.
A HEALING HAND AND A LOT OF KNOWLEDGE
What are the latest trends in physiotherapy?
Every day there are new technologies coming, new machines in the market, but the best and the most used technique in physical therapy is still manual therapy.
Nothing can replace the humantouch in physical therapy. Nothing besides the human hand can get to the right ligament, right tendon, right muscles. The machine cannot do it. So, the trend will be forever manual therapy in physical therapy. I always tell my students, to treat their patients manually and not just put them onto machines. Because with our hands we are able to feel the right joints, the right muscles and then we are able to mobilize it correctly. We are able to touch every ligament, every tendon and then choose the best technique for it.
Manual therapy and machines … what can be done by each one of them?
Machines are just complementary to what the hand can do. Sometimes in my office, I do a full session, a whole hour of complete manual therapy. The machines come secondary just to complete what we do and to help what we do, like ultrasound, laser, dry needle, electricity and all the things we use as physical therapists. But again, all of these are secondary to what we do manually. So, let’s say 80 to 90% importance is given to manual therapy and the rest is done by the machine.
If we want to know more, where can we find you?
You can always follow me on my Instagram account @dr.adelroujoula
LIKED THIS ARTICLE?
Then you will enjoy these ones too!