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Experts have warned of the dangers of working-out without proper training

Gym fans warned over early onset of back, knee problems

, March 6, 2015

Gym enthusiasts are being warned by medical experts about the dangers of early onset of spine and knee problems.

Lifting heavy weights and taking part in high impact sports is behind an increasing number of lower back pain and knee injuries in Bahrain, they claim, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

According to Noor Specialist Hospital orthopaedic and spinal surgery consultant Dr Abdulaziz Mohammed, at least two patients, aged 20 to 40, visit his clinic every day complaining of back or knee pain.

"There is definitely a high percentage of back pain cases," Dr Mohammed told the GDN on the sidelines of an international conference on skeletal radiology at the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea and Spa.

"Clinics and primary care health centres record back pain as one of the most complained about symptoms, next only to headaches.

"Spinal injuries are on the increase in Bahrain, and a very serious problem is spreading across all age groups."

Improper practices while weightlifting were behind many of the complaints he had heard about, Dr Mohammed said.

"In an attempt to shed weight, look good and develop a good physique, many people get into a habit doing heavy workouts without the proper monitoring by a trainer," he said.

"Going to the gym is a good habit and so is taking part in sports, but people should not ignore minor injuries and aches that develop, which could be due to exercising incorrectly.

"You must consult your trainer even for the mildest of pain and further reach out to a doctor as this could eventually turn into a long-term back pain."


Surgical operations undertaken on patient's spines had increased "significantly" over the past 15 years, Dr Mohammed added.

Bahraini musculoskeletal radiologist and sports injury specialist Dr Mai Ebrahim Mattar agreed that younger people were more at risk.

"Sports injuries are common these days, especially among the youth," she said.

"In Bahrain, we have lots of these types of injuries, mainly among men in their early adulthood.

"They are our workforce and if they get injured and go off work then they are not serving the country."

Dr Mattar stressed the importance of having a qualified trainer.

"There is an increased interest in people going to the gym and doing sports these days, especially football," she said.

"But mostly these activities are not monitored and injuries are the outcome.

"People usually ignore knee pain, for example, which is dangerous."

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's King Khalid University Hospital radiology professor and Saudi Board of Radiology Central Training Committee head Dr Nizar Alnakshbandi said almost 30 per cent of middle-aged people in the region suffered from back pain.

"The issue is serious because it is now more common in middle age people - unlike in the past, when back pain was common in people aged 60 years and above," he said

"Back pain at age 40 to 50 is too early compared to the rest of the world.

"Between 20 to 30 per cent of this age group suffers from back pain in this region, which is definitely something to worry about."

The two-day conference held last week focused on post-operative imaging of bones and joints and featured 12 international and regional speakers. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Fans | knee | Spine | injuries | gym |

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