I attended my very first Low Back Pain Forum, the 13th Forum, set in Brazil on 30th September to 3rd October 2014. I was not the only virgin though, Brazil was too, as this was the very first forum to be staged in Latin America. The venue for the conference was stunning (Grande Hotel), all nestled within the slightly quirky (for Brazil!), but beautiful alpine based town of Campos Do Jordao.
The central theme of the forum was the juxtaposed questions of “are we over simplifying, or over complicating low back pain?” and this theme flowed like the Amazon river throughout the sessions, with side tributaries focusing on causation, prognosis and contemporary pain management. This was a truly worldwide forum and recognised the increasing international burden of back pain, raising challenging questions for future research. The plenaries and key note speakers were all excellent and all sessions were well organised. There was plenty of time to reach the sessions of interest, and importantly also ample time to meet and network with colleagues.
The local team who organised the forum in Brazil were very friendly and welcoming and put on some extra curriculum activites for all delegates to enjoy, from a lesson on the grace of Brazilian football through to a display of the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira topped off with an excellent gala dinner.
If you work in the research field of back pain the forum is a must for you, and I look forward to my next forum, organised by Keele University set in the UK in 2016.
By Paul Campbell, Research Associate