Experts Shared Tips to Deal with Low Back Pain

In some point of our lives, most of us will experience pain in the lower back which can interfere with daily routines and work. The pain can range from a dull, annoying and constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain leaving a person with limited mobility for days. Additionally, Low Back Pain (LBP) can account up to 15% of all sick leave at a work place and the most common cause of disability among adults less than 45 years of age.

Taylor’s University School of Medicine recently organised a Low Back Pain Forum with expert panellists from Taylor’s University and University of Malaya. The causes of low back pain are aplenty and there are many structures of the spine that can cause pain. The forum was open to public, and saw attendance from 150 participants who were interested to know more about LBP.

“Research has found that the main causes of low back pain are poor posture, weak axial muscles, obesity and poor weight lifting techniques. Therefore, it is important to instil this awareness amongst the public in order to have a healthier and more productive society,” said Professor Dr Ong King Kok, Deputy Dean School of Medicine, Taylor’s University.

With this, the aim of the forum is to provide a platform to create awareness on low back pain amongst Malaysians, which includes understanding the early symptoms and causes of low back pain; learning its prevention from a panel of experts; and most importantly, managing low back pain effectively. The platform also addressed issues and solutions for anyone who is concerned, experiencing or supporting someone who is suffering from low back pain.

Speakers presented topics at the event included: Associate Professor Dr Shajan Koshy from Taylor’s School of Medicine - who spoke on the ‘Basic Anatomy of the Low Back’; Associate Professor Dr Sargunan Sockalingam, Head of Rheumatology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya - whom highlighted the ‘Common Causes and Management Overview of Low Back Pain’; Associate Professor Dr Dharmendra Ganesan, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine University of Malaya providing ‘Surgical Options for Low Back Pain’; and Dr Anwar bin Suhaimi, Medical Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine University of Malaya. Taylor’s School of Medicine Senior Lecturer, Dr Mohammad Jaweed spearheaded the event and was the Chairperson of the Low Back Pain Forum committee.

The audience were also given free health screenings conducted by the Taylor’s University School of Medicine students, which included blood pressure tests, body mass index measurement and consultation.

Retired State Matron, Alice Tan, shared her motivation to attend the LBP forum when she recently experienced minor pain in her lower back. “I did not want to wait too long for the pain to worsen, however, I wanted to know if there was anything I could do prior a visit to the doctor,” she said. “I am pleased to have received more than what I bargained for at this forum. There were many things to consider when experiencing low back pain, especially how to avoid it. Also, I felt the exercise demonstration was helpful and can easily be done at home.”

The forum is a community service initiative by Taylor’s University School of Medicine in addressing common diseases and health issues faced by Malaysians in the effort to offer the public with useful healthcare tips and solutions.