16 October to 18 October – This year’s World Spine Day (WSD 2018) was held at the driveway and atrium of International Medical University (IMU)’s Bukit Jalil Campus. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Love Your Spine’ and the four-day event was held with the aim of raising awareness about spinal health and improving the public’s perception towards chiropractic care. Activities such as free spinal screening, powerlifting competition, fitness challenge and mini booth games were conducted during the four days. The committee consisting of Semester 3 and Semester 4 chiropractic students was formed in mid-July and the first meeting was held a week later to discuss the preparations and how the event is to be held. Fundraising was held outside the library and also at the atrium for a few weeks to increase funds for this event. Not long after, merchandise designs were finalised and put up for pre-order. This event was further promoted using social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram in which both were constantly updated. A World Spine Day banner was also designed and uploaded to the LCD screen in the atrium to further promote the event.
Prior to this main event, the committee liaised with Asia Pacific University (APU) for a mini inter-university spinal health event whereby the committee did free spinal screenings. This event catered to the whole university and was held from 1pm-6pm. Seniors who were currently in their clinical internship at the IMU chiropractic clinics helped out with the consultation while juniors in Semester 4 helped with the screening. The committee decided to target a non-healthcare university this year as it seemed like more effort were needed in promoting the importance of having a healthy spine to audiences that are not in the healthcare field. In addition, we also managed to share more information regarding the chiropractic profession and correct postures to the participants. This spinal screening managed to promote and raise awareness about spinal health among the public.
As for the spine model displayed in the atrium this year, the team decided to build a bamboo spine as they wanted to show how a problematic spine would look like, relating back to the theme. This was a way of educating passers-by on how important spinal health is as many seem to belittle the minor back pain, stiffness, numbness and tingling issues et cetera. Although the spine model looked simple, a lot of hard work and effort was put into piecing the spine. It took the committee approximately three months to complete the 8.4-meter spine model. A glass door sticker was also designed and adhered at the main entrance.
On the event day itself, free spinal screening booths were set up in the atrium and services were catered to staff and students from 9 am to 4 pm. Chiropractic students in Semesters 3 and 4 were in charge of spinal screening whereas the final year seniors were in charge of consultation. This spinal screening event provided us with an opportunity to raise awareness about the overall importance of good posture and how poor management of spinal health can lead to further adverse health effects in the future. We also set up some educational game booths where we first asked the participants to do 30 seconds to 1 minute of lunges, squats or planking while answering a few anatomy questions. Those who had incorrect posture were properly educated and thorough explanations were given. Additionally, both the fitness challenge and powerlifting competition were also held in conjunction with this year’s IMU Cup. The response for both events was overwhelming whereby participants from different houses competed against each other to earn points for their respective houses for 4 days, whereas the Powerlifting competition was held for 2 days. These two events allowed participants to challenge their perseverance and push past their fitness limits. The top 3 participants were awarded medals and a special gift from the committee.
Overall, WSD 2018 has been a successful event filled with various activities which managed to engage more people about the importance of spinal health and the chiropractic profession. A very big shout out to advisors, lecturers, committee members, seniors and students that helped make this event a huge success.
Written by Organising Committee of World Spine Day 2018