Dr Reinhard Schneider
DOHA: Dr Reinhard Schneider, spine specialist and Director of the Munich-based specialised Back-Pain-Center, says he is interested to set up a branch of his centre in Qatar in view of an increase in the number of patients with back pain in the region.
“I think that would be a very good idea. We clearly see an increase in demand from the large number of patients in the Gulf region. Our treatment philosophy forms an important gap here between the classic, conservative treatment and the classic back surgery approach. The aspiring and modern-thinking Qatar would be an ideal location. Perhaps my visit to Doha from March 30 to April 5 will lead to interesting discussions with leaders on this issue,” Schneider told The Peninsula in a recent interview.
He said studies show that in western countries (Europe, the US, Canada, etc.) and more recently in Arab nations, about 20 per cent of the population suffer from chronic back pain.
They have lasting back pain and are under continuous medical care. However, 80 percent of the population have treatment-requiring pain at least once in their lives.
Obesity is a major risk factor associated with back pain. “Obesity often leads to incorrect straining. This straining leads to wear and tear, such as joint and disc deterioration. Preliminary stages of deterioration are often inflammation. Little movement or strain only exaggerates these negative spirals further,” said Schneider.
The main causes of spinal injury and illness is a lack of movement, or rather, unhealthy movements and deterioration of the spinal disks and the spinal canal.
“Children around the world sit for hours in school and don’t play enough sports. They come home, sit at a desk and do their homework. To relax, they sit and play at their computers. Thus, they sit for no less than 10 hours a day without real physical activity.”
“Professionally, modern jobs predominantly involve sitting. Alternatively, there are, where applicable, travel opportunities, in which people also sit. Then there are meetings and conferences; naturally we sit there as well. For physical activity and sports, most simply do not have time,” he added.
Every person experiences from the age of 20 alterations as a result of deterioration of the spine. Acute herniated discs occur more frequently between the ages 30 and 50. The joint wear normally has an impact in later years, typically from the age of 60. Muscular tension affects all age groups. Tension in the cervical spine is especially common in women, while men are more affected in the lumbar region.
Patients with back pain should visit a specialised spine center as soon as possible. Already existing changes must be diagnosed, and where applicable, specific treatments be applied, for example spinal disc laser treatment, minimally invasive catheter therapy or endoscopic intervention.
All spinal injuries that lead to paralysis or already have, require operation. Injuries which have led to disability or deformation, for example vertebral fractures, must also be operated on. “From Arab nations, we already have experience treating numerous members of ruling families, high ranking politicians and business people. All of such patients value our treatment philosophy “first minimally invasive, before open surgery,” as well as our years of experience, our high quality promise and our interdisciplinary medical and specialist team. The number of treated patients from Arab nations is well over 2,000 at our clinic,” he said.