About Dr. Lucas Ong

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So far Dr. Lucas Ong has created 26 blog entries.

Tension Headache

Headache is a common nervous system disorder with a prevalence of 48.9 %. Tension headache is a primary headache in which it is responsible for the prevalence of 26.5% among other headaches. Contrast to migraine, in tension headache, women are only slightly more affected than male (the female-to-male ratio of TH is 5:4) and the average age of onset (25 to 30 years) is delayed. The peak prevalence occurs between ages 30 to 39 and decreases slightly with age.  A few studies have shown that absenteeism resulting from tension headache can be as high as three times more than that seen in migraine.

Till today, clinical and neurophysiological studies have not been able to determine the exact cause of tension headache. However, studies have indicated that there are possible factors that may trigger this disorder.

Factors for Tension Headache
1) Deficiency of Vitamin B12
2) Deficiency of Vitamin D
3) Poor posture
4) Poor management of stress
5) Lack of quality sleep

Symptoms of Tension Headache

1)  Lasting from 30 minutes to as long as seven days
2) Minimally two of the following four characteristics:
– pain is found both sides
– pressing or tightening quality
– mild or moderate intensity
– not exacerbated by routine physical activity, eg walking or climbing stairs

The best non-pharmacological therapies for tension headache are physical therapy, biofeedback, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Relaxation, exercise programs, and improvement of posture are critical components of physical therapy. Several other treatments, including massage, manipulation, acupuncture, and osteopathic manipulative medicine, have also shown improvement in both acute and chronic presentations, using measures such as increasing range of motion of the head.

Here at Healthworks, with our skills and experiences, our chiropractors and physiotherapist are equipped to help you with your headache. If there are any question regarding the information of this article, please contact us at myhealthworks.com.my or call/ WhatsApp us at 018 9828539.

Tension Headache2021-03-02T14:09:40+08:00

Diastasis Recti

Diastasis Recti is the partial or complete separation of the rectus abdominis, or “six-pack” muscles, which meet at the midline of your stomach. Diastasis recti is very common during and following pregnancy. This is because the uterus stretches the muscles in the abdomen to accommodate the growing baby. This condition varies each time with each individual and is vital to keep it in check to prevent other complications that may arise.

Another method to diagnose Diastasis Recti would be heading over to your primary care physician, OBGYN, physical therapist for a definitive diagnosis. Confirmation of rectus diastasis can be made using computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging, or ultrasound but these tests are usually not necessary.

What are the types of treatment?

Firstly, Diastasis Recti usually resolves on its own within the period of 6 to 12 months.  However, there are some treatment options that might help with a faster recovery. Most commonly, alternative treatments are prescribed. In some studies, preventative exercise protocols include walking and abdominal core strengthening or corrective exercise protocols that include core strengthening, aerobic activity, and neuro-muscular re-education is beneficial with closing the gap.

There are also various surgical methods that are prescribed according to the severity of the condition, and is usually based on the symptoms and physical findings. Many patients with diastasis recti will have discomfort at the level of the defect that is aggravated by movement. In addition, the appearance of the abdominal wall is noticeably distorted in patients with diastasis recti especially when there is contraction of the rectus abdominis muscles.

Over here at Healthworks, we have experienced chiropractors and physiotherapist to help you with this condition. If you have any questions regarding this article, feel free to contact us at contact@myhealthworks.com.my or call/ WhatsApp us at 018- 982 8539.

Diastasis Recti2021-01-29T15:15:38+08:00

The Mummy Tummy (Diastasis Recti) – Part1

It is an exciting day where all moms -to-be are about to meet their babies after a 10 month long waiting period. For most mummies, getting back into shape is probably a struggling concern and for some, regardless of the effort, their ‘mummy tummy’ is just not going away.

Doing specific abs exercises seems to be making it worse not to mention the lower back pain associated with it .

Diastasis Recti is a common post partum condition in which the abdominal muscles are separated by the ligament(linea alba) and it might cause a bulge in the middle of the abdomen where the two muscles separate. Diastasis recti is very common during and following pregnancy.

This is because the uterus stretches the muscles in the abdomen to accommodate your growing baby.  This happens mostly with pregnancy or a larger weight gain which can happen with males or females.

Having Diastasis Recti may cause you to notice the protruding belly and a general feeling of weakness in your core muscles. Other signs of diastasis include incontinence that continues more than eight weeks postpartum (separated abs can often cause pelvic floor dysfunction, which can lead to urine leakage, constipation and pain during intercourse), lower back pain and a four-months-pregnant look.

How do I know if I have a Mummy Tummy?

You can perform an easy test by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Put one hand on your belly, with your fingers on your midline at your navel. Press your fingertips down gently, and bring your head (shoulders stay on the ground) up into a mini crunch-like position. Feel for the sides of your rectus abdominis muscles, and see if and how far they are separated. Separation is commonly discussed in terms of finger widths — for instance, two or three (or more) fingers’ separation.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article.

The Mummy Tummy (Diastasis Recti) – Part12020-04-06T12:30:49+08:00

Migraine Headache

Migraine is the most common disabling brain disorder. Chronic migraine, a condition characterized by the experience of migrainous headache on at least 15 days per month, is highly disabling. Patients with chronic migraine present to primary care, are often referred for management to secondary care, and make up a large proportion of patients in specialist headache clinics. Many patients with chronic migraine also have medication overuse, defined as using a compound analgesic, opioid, triptan or ergot derivative on at least 10 days per month. Most migraine clients often times complained of not knowing how to manage their symptoms and often times left to depend on pain killers.

Let’s face it, medication such as pain killers are the gold standard when it comes to treating migraine headaches. But more often than none, these medications contribute to other symptoms such as sleepiness and fatigue, racing heartbeat, nausea, and difficulty thinking. However there are good natural ways available to reduce and prevent your migraine symptoms.

Step 1

As migraine attacks are different for everyone, one should keep a migraine note/diary. A really simple diary would consists of:

  • how often they occur
  • where the pain is
  • the type of pain (throbbing, piercing, etc)
  • if there are other symptoms (such as being sick or having vision problems)
  • how long the attacks last
  • what treatment you take
  • how effective treatment is (or isn’t).
  • what and when you eat (think about missed or delayed meals)
  • medication you take for other conditions
  • how much sleep you have
  • exercise you take
  • social and work activities
  • other factors, such as the weather
  • women should record details of their menstrual cycle.

Having to know the details of the attack will help in eliminating or reducing the migraine attacks.

Step 2

Sleep well

Having poor quality of sleep often is one of the complaints from people who suffers from migraine. Here is a tip to better sleeping.

Establish regular sleep hours. Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day — even on weekends. If you nap during the day, keep it short.

Naps longer than 20 to 30 minutes may interfere with nighttime sleep.

Step 3

Eat wisely

Many migraine attacks happen especially when that person’s eating habits is less than ideal. Here are some things you should avoid:

1) Eating foods that may trigger the attack

2) Eating not regularly

3) Fasting

Step 4

Exercise regularly

During physical activity, your body releases certain chemicals that block pain signals to your brain. These chemicals also help alleviate anxiety and depression, which can make migraines worse.

Obesity also increases the risk of chronic headaches, so maintaining a healthy weight through exercise and diet can provide additional benefits in managing migraines.

Step 5

Manage stress

1) Stress and migraines often go hand in hand. You can’t avoid daily stress, but you can keep it under control to help manage your migraines:

2) Simplify your life. Rather than looking for ways to squeeze more activities or chores into the day, find a way to leave some things out.

3) Manage your time wisely. Update your to-do list every day — both at work and at home. Delegate what you can, and divide large projects into manageable chunks.

4) Take a break. If you feel overwhelmed, a few slow stretches or a quick walk may renew your energy for the task at hand.

Adjust your attitude. Stay positive. If you find yourself thinking, “This can’t be done,” switch gears. Think instead, “This will be tough. But I can make it work.”

5) Enjoy yourself. Find time to do something you enjoy for at least 15 minutes every day. It could be playing a game, having coffee with a friend or pursuing a hobby. Doing something you enjoy is a natural way to combat stress.

6) Relax. Deep breathing from your diaphragm can help you relax. Focus on inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply for at least 10 minutes every day. It may also help to consciously relax your muscles, one group at a time. When you’re done, sit quietly for a minute or two.

Migraine Headache2020-02-26T15:19:42+08:00

Ice or Heat For Pain?

Pain is a factor that drives most of our clients to consult us here at Healthworks, be it acute (less than 3 months) or chronic (more than 3 months). One of the adjunct treatment that we commonly use are the ice or heat pack. And the usual question was “when should I use heat or ice?”. To maximize a particular treatment, we must first understand the underlying physiology of the particular injury.

Acute pain is due to tissue damage and most commonly caused by trauma. In most circumstances, acute pain is self-limiting and proportionate to the degree of injury sustained. After damaging a particular body tissue, the body will then illicit an inflammation cascade inducing localized pain, swelling, reduced range of motion, and tenderness to touch. The better treatment option would be using ice to treat such injuries is to alleviate pain, reduce tissue metabolism, and to restrict swelling.

Pain will usually become less severe as the injury heals. However, chronic pain is different from typical pain. With chronic pain, the body continues to send pain signals to the brain, even after an injury heals. This can last several weeks to years. Chronic pain can limit mobility and reduce the flexibility, strength, and endurance. In this case, heat would be a better option for treatment where it helps with soft tissue flexibility, muscle resistance, easier and better contraction of smooth muscles, and improvement in the muscles’ motor function. Besides, heat therapy triggers decline in pain especially low back pain through stopping pain signal and exerting pressure muscles.

However, recent updates have shown that heat can be treated for acute cases. 87 patients randomly assigned to three (thermotherapy and cryotherapy as intervention, and naproxen as control) groups of 29 each. The first (thermotherapy) group underwent treatment with hot water bag and naproxen, the second (cryotherapy) group was treated with ice and naproxen, and the naproxen group was only treated with naproxen, all for one week. All patients were examined on 0, 3rd, 8th, and 15th day after the first visit. In this study, thermotherapy patients reported significantly less pain compared to cryotherapy and control.

If there are any inquiries to the article, please email us at contact@myhealthworks.com.my or Whatsapp at 018-9828539 or call 03-6211 7533.

Ice or Heat For Pain?2020-01-16T12:12:33+08:00

Stress and Chronic Pain

Stress is a natural phenomenon that affects the mind, body and soul. It is highly subjective and usually depends on the individual’s perception on the causes of stress. Stress can be beneficial or harmful. With the right amount of stress, one may gain success or fulfillment in life. However, too much of stress can lead to an impediment of health. It can make us physically sick. It dampens the immune system and dries out the digestive tract, setting the stage for disorders from irritable bowel syndrome to ulcerative colitis. It impairs memory and in extreme cases fuels anxiety. It can even gnaw away at the ends of chromosomes, thereby accelerating cellular aging. Not only that, at Healthworks, we have seen many with chronic pain being affected by stress. Most of their recovery really depends on their stress level.

How does stress relate to chronic pain?

When the body is stressed, muscles tense up. Muscle tension is almost a reflex reaction to stress — the body’s way of guarding against injury and pain. With sudden onset stress, the muscles tense up all at once, and then release their tension when the stress passes. Chronic stress causes the muscles in the body to be in a more or less constant state of guardedness. When muscles are taut and tense for long periods of time, this may trigger other reactions of the body and even promote stress-related disorders. For example, both tension-type headache and migraine headache are associated with chronic muscle tension in the area of the shoulders, neck and head. Musculoskeletal pain in the low back and upper extremities has also been linked to stress, especially job stress.

How do I know if my pain is related to stress?

Firstly, stress does not only focus on pain, it can contribute to a list other signs and symptoms. Here are some of them:

  1. Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
  2. Gritting, grinding teeth
  3. Stuttering or stammering
  4. Tremors, trembling of lips, hands
  5. Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
  6. Light headedness, faintness, dizziness
  7. Ringing, buzzing or “popping sounds
  8. Frequent blushing, sweating
  9. Cold or sweaty hands, feet
  10. Dry mouth, problems swallowing
  11. Frequent colds, infections, herpes sores
  12. Rashes, itching, hives, “goose bumps”
  13. Unexplained or frequent “allergy” attacks
  14. Heartburn, stomach pain, nausea
  15. Excess belching, flatulence
  16. Constipation, diarrhea, loss of control
  17. Difficulty breathing, frequent sighing
  18. Sudden attacks of life threatening panic
  19. Chest pain, palpitations, rapid pulse
  20. Frequent urination

However, despite the usual signs and symptoms, following up with a medical doctor for a proper stress test should be done.

If there are any inquiries to this article, please WhatsApp us at 018-9828539 or email to contact@myhealthworks.com.my

Stress and Chronic Pain2019-11-25T08:35:32+08:00

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a common condition which we see here at Healthworks in which the spinal cord or the spinal nerves are compressed. This pinches the nerves or spinal cord, causing various symptoms such as pain, cramping, weakness or numbness. These sensations can be felt in the lower back, legs, neck or arms depending on the location of the nerves. Usually, spinal stenosis is caused by wear and tear of the spinal column or the disc. Sometimes, a thickened spinal ligament or a bulging disc is the source of stenosis.

Symptoms of stenosis often starts slowly and worsens gradually. Generally, a person who is diagnosed with this condition would exhibit symptoms of severe pain in the legs, calves or lower back when standing or walking. Pain is also worsen when walking up or down a hill, a ramp of steps. However, it is relieved by sitting or lying down.

As the common cause of stenosis is spinal degeneration, there are also other risk factors that might contribute to the narrowing of the nerves or spinal cord.

Person born with a narrowed spinal canal


50 years old and above

Person who had an injury or surgery of the spine

There are other medical conditions that can cause a spinal stenosis:

  1. OA (Osteoarthritis)
  2. Inflammatory spondyloarthtritis (e.g Ankylosing Spondylitis)
  3. Spinal tumors
  4. Paget’s disease

This medical condition is usually diagnosed with a thorough history and physical examination along with the aid of spinal imaging such as the MRI or X-ray. Treatment options include conservative and invasive depending on the severity of the symptoms. Usually, this condition would be treated conservatively with spinal mobilization and strengthening exercises. However, if the symptoms became worse, invasive therapy such as Epidural injection or Spinal surgery may be the treatment of choice.

As the symptoms for spinal stenosis are varied, it is always the best thing to have a check up with your physician to fully understand what you might be diagnosed with. At Healthworks, a team of chiropractors and physiotherapist are ready to help you with the questions you have about your spine.

Lastly, if you have any questions or queries to this article, please call us at 0362117533 or Whatsapp us at 018-9828539.

Spinal Stenosis2019-10-16T11:17:05+08:00

Neck Pain After Waking Up

Waking up with a neck pain is definitely one of the worst things in life.  Most of us, actually experience not only soreness but also stiffness in the neck.  Simple activities like turning one’s head or looking down can be devastating not to mention going about one’s normal routine.  This article will discuss on tips of how you can prevent and manage your neck pain after waking up.


Tip 1
Make sure that your pillow is at a moderate height and hardness. Many times, I have encountered clients who have complained about their pillows that were not ideal in supporting their heads. Pillows which are too soft or low often times lacked the strength to support our neck structures, thus causing the pain and stiffness. Pillows which are too high or hard on the other hand causes stress towards the neck muscles, waking up with achiness.

Tip 2
Making sudden movements like sitting up quickly or flinging your limbs around in a dream, can strain your neck muscles. Tossing and turning while you’re sleeping, or trying to sleep, can also create tension and stress in your neck.

Tip 3
Having a proper sleeping position is important to prevent injuries of the neck muscles. Sleeping on your tummy poses high risk for neck pain. When you sleep on your stomach, your neck may be twisted to one side for hours at a time. This can strain your neck muscles, and make them feel sore and stiff in the morning.  Sleeping on your back or sideways would be a better option in relieving the stress on your neck.

Ways to manage neck pain after a bad sleep

1) Ice
Icing the neck and shoulder helps in reducing the pain and the inflammation in the neck structures. You should Ice them for 15 minutes and if possible, ice them every hour.

2) Stretching
Stretching your neck muscles will not be comfortable especially if it is injured. Stretching the neck muscles helps to alleviate the tightness and stiffness in the neck and it encourages blood flow towards the injured area.

3) Visiting your friendly neighborhood chiropractor
Having to know your diagnosis is an important step to treating your neck. Chiropractors uses all natural healing techniques like spinal adjustments/ manipulation to allow the body to heal by itself thus reducing the pain.

If you have any inquiries of this article, feel free to visit our website at www.myhealthworks.com.my or call us at 03- 6211 7533.

Neck Pain After Waking Up2019-09-20T10:01:37+08:00

Cervicogenic Headache

Headache is an extremely common symptom and the most common of the nervous system disorders.  Nearly 5 in every 10 individuals will be diagnosed with a headache.  It affects the young and old, all races and genders, but mostly females.  There are many types of headaches and amongst them, chiropractors have found that the trend for cervicogenic headache is rising.  Most clients here at Healthworks whom were diagnosed with neck pain often times are associated with cervicogenic headache.

As the name suggest, Cervicogenic Headache is referred to pain (pain perceived as occurring in a part of the body other than its true source) perceived in the head from a source in the neck. It is usually described as a one-sided pain that starts in the neck. Headache is said to happen after neck movement. Furthermore, it usually accompanies a reduced range of motion (ROM) of the neck. Detailed examination is needed to prevent misdiagnosis of a migraine, tension headache, or other primary headache syndromes.

There are a few key points in order for the health practitioner to make these diagnosis:
1. Source of the pain must be in the neck and perceived in head or face. Evidence that the pain can be attributed to the neck. It must have one of the following: demonstration of clinical signs that implicate a source of pain in the neck or abolition of a headache following diagnostic blockade of a cervical structure or its nerve supply using a placebo or other adequate controls.

2. Pain resolves within three months after successful treatment of the causative disorder or lesion

How does Cervicogenic Headache happens?
Often times, stress (poor posture, neck strain, whiplash) towards nerves of C1-C3 may relay nociceptive nucleus of the head and neck. It is thought to be the cause for referred pain to the occiput and/or eyes.

Ways of improving Cervicogenic Headaches
1. By Improving posture, it minimizes the amount of stress that is placed through the structures of the neck thus reducing the pressure on the nerves.

2. Chiropractic manipulation has shown to be effective in dealing with Cervicogenic Headaches (CGH) because CGH is related to neck joint dysfunction, several studies of varied research designs have shown that spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is effective for CGH. Systematic reviews of randomized control trials using manual therapy in CGH patients suggest better outcomes compared to no treatment.

3. Therapeutic exercises. Stretching and strengthening the postural muscles to emphasize upright posture.  A good ‘proprioceptive posture’ begins from the core, ensuring the patient knows how to activate the transverse abdominus and brace the entire core.

As a chiropractor, I believe having to find the root cause for CGH is a priority in ensuring a more successful outcome. Careful diagnosis is a vital component as there are different triggers for headaches. If there are any queries to this article, please WhatsApp us at 018-9828539 or call us at 03-6211 7533.

Cervicogenic Headache2019-08-20T06:12:52+08:00

Walking To A Better Health

Physical inactivity has led to many health problems, physically or mentally.  It increases all causes of mortality, double the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity, and increase the risks of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, depression and anxiety. At Healthworks, physical inactivity is a leading cause for neck and low back pain. With today’s technology, we no longer have the need to move. Everything that we want is just a click away and will arrive to our doorstep within a few minutes. Walking which is a simple yet easily forgotten exercise, helps us to combat physical inactivity. So here are few health benefits that walking can help.

Walking which is a cardio exercise, helps to improve the function of the cardiovascular system. It works like beta-blocker medication to slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure (at rest and also when exercising). Next, it improves the muscles’ ability to draw oxygen from the circulating blood. This reduces the need for the heart—a muscular organ itself—to work harder to pump more blood to the muscles, whatever your age.

Walking is also a great exercise and helps you lose weight. American scientists designed an experiment where obese patients walked together (a concept known as the ‘walking bus’) to their destinations in and around the city. After 8 weeks, their weight was checked, and more than 50% of the participants lost an average of 5 pounds. Therefore, it might be a good idea to start walking to and from your nearby destinations, instead of driving your car.

Cancer is prevalent amongst people who have a sedentary lifestyle. Scientists have found that walking can help in weight loss, thereby reducing the risk of cancer. Walking has been found to be helpful for those undergoing cancer treatment by reducing the side effects of chemotherapy. It can also lower the risk of breast cancer.

By walking an average of 30 minutes a day, you will be able to maintain your day-to-day functional capabilities. Most people with chronic pain who are not engaged with any form of exercises are usually limited in their functions.  Walking like other exercises increases the endorphin production in your body. Endorphins inhibit your pain by binding to the opioid receptors in your brain, and they work similar to opioid pain medications like oxycodone or morphine. This means that walking not only helps you maintain your functional capabilities, but it can also reduce your experience of chronic lower back pain.

Lastly, working out in a gym or going to specific gym class might cost you, walking however is an exercise which doesn’t require any monetary expenses. All it needs is your time. You can do it on your own time and you can do it mostly anywhere which allows you to walk.

If you have any question based on this article, feel free to WhatsApp us at 018-9828539 or visit us at our website at www.myhealthworks.com.my.

Walking To A Better Health2019-07-16T02:50:09+08:00
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