The Family Physician and Director for Medical Services at FOCOS Orthopaedic Hospital, Dr. Gerhard Ofori-Amankwah, gave a talk on ‘Your Spine, Your Health and Back Pain’ among professionals at this year’s Bar, Bench and Faculty Conference held last week at the Labadi Beach Hotel, Accra.
Addressing the gathering of lawyers and judges of various divisions, Dr. Ofori-Amankwah first made the point that pain is “an unpleasant sensory or emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage”.
He emphasised that back pain is usually the pain extending from the nape of the neck to just above the inferior gluteal folds.
Low back pain, he added, is the commonest of back pain which affects 2/3 adults with a ratio of 50:50 for both males and females.
Highlighting some of the occupations that are at risk, Dr. Ofori- Amankwah said prolonged sitting, prolonged commute time, lack of breaks, irregular meal times and social activities such as golfing, horse-riding, among others, could trigger back pain.
He also cited some of the causes of low back pain that need attention: Muscle Strain, Muscle Sprain, Tumor, Infection, Fractures, Disc Prolapse, Degenerative Changes, just to mention but a few.
Dr. Ofori-Amankwah stressed on the following as symptoms of low back pain: Numbness, Limb Weakness, Neck Pain, Depression, Constipation, Chronic Headaches, Burning Sensation, Paralysis and so on.
Finally, Dr. Ofori- Amankwah encouraged all and sundry at the conference to adopt some lifestyle modifications which could help reduce if not eliminate Back Pain and its associated effects.
These lifestyle modifications include: sitting upright and not slouching, avoid sitting continuously for prolonged hours or periods, avoid poor lifting, if possible avoid high heels, exercise regularly (cycling, swimming, walking etc.).
He advised members of the learned profession to seek early treatment if they suspect any such pain.
The Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine (FOCOS) is a non-profit organization, established in 1998 in the United States and Ghana by Dr. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, who was Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Weill-Corner Medical College of Cornell University and the hospital for Special surgery
FOCOS mission is to provide highest quality and affordable orthopedic care to those who would not otherwise have access to such treatment.