Understand back pain in order to tackle it

  • Wellness
  • Friday, 16 Nov 2018

Among the risk factors for low back pain are lack of awareness about ergonomics and incorrect posture during heavy lifting. — AFP

Sun Tzu’s Art of War isn’t just applicable in wars and businesses, but also relevant in dealing with most life problems, for instance, low back pain!

One of his well-known strategies is to know the enemy and to know yourself. Hence, understanding the risk factors and causes of low back pain is key to preventive measures and relief from the discomfort of backache.

Low back pain is a common condition in the working population, and as the condition worsens, it can impact productivity and healthcare cost.

According to the Malaysian Back Pain Management Guidelines, backache that continues beyond 12 weeks is classified as a chronic condition.

Studies indicate that work, which requires intense energy and forces, such as lifting heavy objects and repetitive activities that involve bending, pulling and pushing heavy loads are significant contributors to low back pain among workers.

The main reasons for this are lack of awareness and knowledge of workplace ergonomics, incorrect posture in manual material handling (MMH) and ignorance of

the risks factors of low back pain.

In fact, the studies say that MMH training programmes are essential in combating the trend of low back pain among blue-collar workers.

While most causes of low back pain are associated with physically demanding tasks, white-collar office workers are also not free from the risks of low back pain.

Studies find that office workers who sit and remain inactive for long hours are highly exposed to the risks of having low back pain as well.

Generally, most office workers will face fatigue in their backs after sitting for two hours or more.

Thus, taking breaks and varying your body posture is highly recommended in order to relieve backache, fatigue or soreness.

Studies have also found that obesity is associated to low back pain. It is said that overweight individuals are 1.7 to 2.3 times more likely to experience low back pain.

As such, everyone is advised to practise healthy lifestyles through eating balanced diets and having frequent exercise, especially those that promote flexibility and strength of muscles.

It is also advisable to seek medical consultation and treatment before it is too late as, depending on the severity, low back pain can become irreversible at a certain point if it is not taken care of.

In light of the seriousness of this seemingly common physical ailment, the Fixback campaign organised by Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman's Bachelor of Corporate Communication (Hons) final year students, will be providing free body health screening to the public at IOI Mall Puchong on Nov 17, 2018.

Their objectives are to create awareness of the risk factors, preventive measures and treatments for low back pain.

The Fixback campaign is made possible by IOI Properties Group Berhad as the main sponsor, with IOI Mall Puchong as the venue partner. For more information, please visit the Fixback Facebook page.

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