08 September 2012
City orthopaedician advises proper usage and regular exercise
Can helmets meant for protecting your head and life can also be the cause for your pain? If analysis of neck pain patients visiting a city clinic is any indication, then this may be true.
Spinalogy Clinic founder Dr Kiran Shete claimed that an analysis of 100 neck pain patients revealed that 28% of them were regular helmet users. About 19 patients among them suffered from chronic neck pain because of wrong usage, choice and fitting of helmets.
"In these patients we found that simply replacing the helmet with a good fitting one and teaching a few basic stretching neck exercises made pain disappear completely," he said.
The orthopaedic doctor added that the problem was most common in patients who travelled for more than 45 minutes at a stretch. Since helmet usage has now become compulsory in cantonment areas, Shete said that it is important for people to choose the right kind of helmets.
"The most common and rather strange reason for misfitting helmets is that patients reported sharing helmets. Instead of buying a helmet of proper size, often a midsize helmet was bought that family members could share. Most of the times, we found that helmets were loose. This forces one to adjust the balance of helmet more aggressively especially on bumpy roads which creates lot of pressure on neck," Shete said.
Heavy and fancy helmets were found to be unnecessary burden on neck. A few patients were also found to wear excessively tight helmets that blocked blood circulation and put pressure on neck muscles.
Shete said that the simple way to avoid such chronic neck pain is knowledge of proper helmets. " The helmets must be lightweight, have proper ventilation as excessive sweating can lead to rashes, check aerodynamic or ideal fit of helmet. It should have a clear face shield view and always buy a branded ISI mark helmet," he said.