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A Pain in the Neck (and Back!): How Technology, Stress, and Genetics are Leading to Aches and Pains With Dr. Sameer Vemuri
Episode 2928th January 2021 • Back Talk Doc • Sanjiv Lakhia - Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates
00:00:00 00:37:46

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By the numbers, a solid percentage of you are listening to this 29th episode of Back Talk Doc on your mobile device or in front of your computer. You may be hunched over peeping at the show notes on the screen, a noticeable strain rippling down your back. Whether you’re experiencing back or neck pain as you’re reading these words, this episode is here to help.

On today's episode of Back Talk Doc, our host Dr. Sanjiv Lakhia is accompanied by Dr. Sameer Vemuri, a partner at Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates. Dr. Vemuri works at the Ballantyne and Mathews offices. Board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, Dr. Vermuri received his medical training at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, then went on to intern at Providence Hospital and Medical Center in Michigan. (2:27)

Dr. Lakhia and Dr. Vemuri discuss the burden of spine care in the United States. Both men care for a tremendous number of patients suffering from neck and back pain, with many patients suffering from both. Dr. Vemuri reveals four common factors leading to back pain: (1) genetics, (2) day-to-day stresses, (3) acute injuries, and (4) a big factor both doctors see: the use and overuse of technology devices. (8:59)

"Technology and our phones and our devices has really taken over our life and forced all of us to be looking down constantly and promoting somewhat of a rounded posture." (9:31) Dr. Vemuri explains that these postures place strain on the structural cervical spine in the neck region. "Eventually, you're going to have some changes in the structural anatomy of that spine, and afterwards, you're going to have more chances of irritation of some of these nerves that come through that spinal area." (10:27)


More topics discussed on this episode include:

  • Providing patients with realistic expectations during the healing process (23:43)
  • The importance of mind-body connections when discussing back and neck pains. (26:36)
  • When a headache is more than just a headache: how to know when back and neck problems are leading to headaches. (31:36)


For more information on Dr. Sanjiv Lakhia and the podcast visit

Back Talk Doc is brought to you by Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, with offices in North and South Carolina. To learn more about Dr. Lakhia and treatment options for back and spine issues, go to To schedule an appointment with Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, you can call us at 1-800-344-6716 or visit our website at