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A series of articles on Neck and Back Pain-
by Dr. Philip Leong, B.Sc. M.D. (UBC)
Canadian Asian Neck & Back Institute (ˇ§CANBIˇ¨)

Introduction from the Chairman

Neck and Back pain are common afflictions that afflict many of us, especially for those involving desk works.

I met Dr. Philip Leong when we both started our tertiary education at UBC.

Philip was an outstanding student at UBC completing his B.Sc. (1st class honors) majoring in Bio- Chemistry and his M.D. degrees at UBC within a short span of six years only.

After practicing in Vancouver for many years, he returned to Hong Kong in 1998 and has since held the positions of Medical Director, Asia Pacific Region, Canadian Back Institute and Clinic Director, Canadian Asian Neck and Back Institute in Hong Kong.

Since his return to Hong Kong, Philip has conducted numerous case management of Back and Neck Injury and/or functional capacity evaluations for leading institutions in Hong Kong and conducted numerous courses and occupational health training programs for professional groups such as Raffles Medical Group, Hong Kong Dental Association, the Law Society of Hong Kong, etc.

His involvement with CANBI has made him a suitable person to address the issue of Neck and Back pain and Philip has graciously agreed to start his series of articles, starting this issue, on the matter.

I am thankful that Philip has agreed to share his expertise and experience and help us understand better Neck and Back pain that is so common amongst us city dwellers.

1. Articles on Neck and Back Pain

Introduction

Neck and Back pain are common afflictions. Eight out of ten people will experience one or both of these conditions some time in their lives.

I use the term ˇ§conditionˇ¨ because in the great majority of cases, the presence of neck or back pain does not mean you have a disease. In fact, less than 5% of people going to the doctor with neck and back pain actually have significant medical pathology. The other 95% of us have common, garden variety, mechanical neck and back pain, from excessive loading of spinal structures, especially those undergoing normal aging changes.

I am not trivializing the 95% of mechanical pain. Although the nature is benign and the response to proper treatment can be rapid and satisfying, the amount of pain experienced by the sufferer is real and can be severe and disabling.

For both the pain suffer and the therapist, it can be frustrating to treat neck and back pain. Often the pain keeps coming back and the pain doesnˇ¦t always respond to treatment as you would hope.

The reason is actually quite simple.

There are actually many kinds of neck and back pain, the treatment of which are specific and different in each case. If the type of pain is recognized and the appropriate therapy instituted, it is not uncommon to witness improvement within days or even hours. On the other hand, if the type of pain is not correctly identified and the pain suffer (notice I try not to use the term ˇ§patientˇ¨) received only ˇ§standardizedˇ¨ forms of treatment, such as hot packs, traction, electrotherapy, ultrasound, massage etc., it is not surprising that the pain does not respond to therapy, or only responds on a short term basis.

If you suffer from neck and back pain, you owe it to yourself to find out more about your pain and what you can do to conquer it.

Until next time ˇKˇK

Philip Leong (M.D. Canada)
Canadian Asian Neck & Back Institute (CANBI)




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