Studies have described back pain as a complex disorder because its recovery period is highly associated with the physical, psychological and social factors of an individual.
The most effective way of treating low back pain is to initiate preventive measures and suitable treatments by understanding the symptoms and accurate interpretation of the physical signals.
There are three types of low back pain: acute low back pain with a duration up to six weeks, sub-acute low back pain with a duration between six and 12 weeks, and chronic low back pain with a duration of 12 weeks and above.
However, sometimes it is impossible to detect the source of the pain, or even the extent of spinal injuries, by examining the site of the pain.
Diagnosing lower back pain is challenging because there will be times where the cause of the pain remains unclear.
That is why non-specific low back pain is the most common type of back pain, and chiropractic, massage and acupuncture might work for some individuals as pain relief.
Among all the treatments of low back pain, physiotherapy has always been at the forefront.
There are two types of physiotherapy treatments: passive and active.
Manipulation, hot pack and traction are examples of passive treatment, while active treatment requires the patients to perform some exercises such as gentle stretches and aerobic activities.
Studies indicate that passive treatment is only for temporary relief and effective only for acute back pain, whereas active treatment is more effective in combating chronic back pain.
Another treatment available to ease low back pain is chiropractic treatment.
Studies found that chiropractic treatment such as spinal manipulation, could help to ease low back pain and reduce drug prescriptions to relieve backache conditions.
As low back pain can often lead to long-term discomfort, with a tendency of becoming irreversible, prevention is better than cure.
Physical exercise is the top recommendation for prevention as it will improve the back muscle strength and endurance, and strengthen abdominal muscles as well.
According to the Malaysian Back Pain Management Guidelines, the three main components of exercise are stretching (to improve flexibility), strengthening (to improve muscle strength and for stabilisation of joints) and aerobic exercises (to improve endurance).
These series of exercises should be done on a daily basis in order to ensure body fitness and to improve the condition of low back pain.
Nevertheless, the results of the exercises may only be seen weeks or months later. After all, these activities are not magic tricks!
As the trend of working adults experiencing low back pain is increasing over the years, the Bachelor of Corporate Communication (Hons) final year students of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar) are organising a health awareness event as part of its Fixback campaign at IOI Mall Puchong, Selangor, on Nov 17, 2018, (Saturday) from 10am – 10pm.
There will be free health screenings, talks related to preventive measures and management of low back pain, and other attractive games and activities conducted during the Fixback roadshow.
Starting from Oct 29, 2018, the Fixback team conducted a series of activities such as quick survey polls, video shooting and street pop-up interviews within Klang Valley in order to raise the public awareness about low back pain.
Fixback aims to educate working adults about low back pain and occupational health measurements, and encourage and empower them to live a healthy lifestyle.