Back pain usually affects the lower back. It can be a short-term problem, lasting a few days or weeks, or continue for many months or even years. Most people will have some form of back pain at some stage in their lives.
Do you experience the below mention for your back pain?
- Back pain gets worse with prolonged standing or sitting.
- Back pain causing you a major hindrance to your life.
- Because of back pain, you need to lie in bed most of the time.
- Chinese herbal medicine and pain relief get do not help in reducing your back pain anymore.
Call us at +65 64712674 to check your spine and treat your back pain today.
- Back pain video
- About back pain
- Symptoms of back pain
- When should I see a back pain specialist?
- Causes of back pain
- Diagnosis of back pain
- Treatment of back pain
- Prevention of back pain
Back Pain Video
About back pain
Back pain is extremely common – about four in five people are affected at some point in their lifetime. Anyone can get back pain at any age, but it’s most common in people between the ages of 35 and 55, or over.
Your back has many interconnecting structures, including bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Its main support structure is the spine, which is made up of 24 separate bones called vertebrae, plus the bones of the sacrum and coccyx. Between the vertebrae are discs that act as shock absorbers and allow your spine to bend. Your spinal cord threads down through the central canal of each vertebra, carrying nerves from your brain to the rest of your body.
It’s often very difficult to know exactly what causes back pain, but it’s usually thought to be related to a strain in one of the interconnecting structures in your back, rather than a nerve problem. Back pain caused by a more serious, underlying condition is rare and you’re unlikely to be affected unless you are very old or very young.
Symptoms of back pain
If you have low back pain, you may have tension, soreness or stiffness in your lower back area. This pain is often referred to as ‘non-specific’ back pain and usually improves on its own within a few days.
Back pain may be called either ‘acute’ or ‘chronic’ depending on how long your symptoms last. You may have:
- acute back pain – lasting less than six weeks
- sub-acute back pain – lasting six weeks to three months
- chronic back pain – lasting longer than three months
When should I see a back pain specialist?
See our spine specialist if you experience the below symptoms:
- redness or swelling on your back
- pain down your legs and below your knees
- numbness or weakness in one or both legs or around your buttocks
- constant pain, particularly at night
- pain that is getting much worse and is spreading up your spine
These symptoms are known as red flags. It’s important to seek medical help for these symptoms to ensure you don’t have a more serious, underlying cause for your back pain.
Causes of back pain
For most people with back pain, there isn’t any specific, underlying problem or condition that can be identified as the cause of the pain. However, there are a number of factors that can increase your risk of developing back pain, or aggravate it once you have it. These include:
- standing, sitting or bending down for long periods
- lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling loads that are too heavy, or going about these tasks in the wrong way
- having a trip or a fall
- being stressed or anxious
- being overweight
- having poor posture
There may be other, more serious underlying causes of your low back pain, but these are rare. They include:
- fracture – a crack or break in one of the bones in your back
- osteoporosis – a condition where bones lose density causing them to become weak, brittle and more likely to break
- a slipped disc – this is when a disc bulges so far out that it puts pressure on your spinal nerves
- spinal stenosis – a condition in which the spaces in your spine narrow
- spondylolisthesis – when one of your back bones slips forward and out of position
- degenerative disc disease – when the discs in your spinal cord gradually become worn down
- osteoarthritis – a wear-and-tear disease that can particularly affect the joints of your spine
- rheumatoid arthritis – an inflammatory condition in which your immune system causes inflammation of the lining of your joints and surrounding structures
Low back pain may also be caused by an infection or cancer, but these two causes are very rare.
Diagnosis of back pain
If, however, your symptoms don’t improve after a few weeks, you may need to have:
- an X-ray
- a CT scan (a test that uses X-ray equipment and computer software to create pictures of the inside of your body)
- an MRI scan (a test that uses magnets and radiowaves to produce images of the inside of the body)
- blood tests
These tests are used to find out if you have a more specific, underlying cause for your back pain.
Treatment of back pain
Medicines for back pain
Many patients benefit from medication, which relieves low back pain and reduces inflammation or muscle spasms. Specific Medications maybe prescribed for the treatment of the nerve pain as well.
Physical therapies for back pain
We may refer you for physical therapy to help with your back pain. Treatment can involve exercises, posture advice, massage, and techniques known as spinal mobilisation and spinal manipulation. Treatment courses usually last about six to 12 weeks.
Anti-inflammatory Spinal Injection
This spinal injection is a safe and conservative treatment for lower back pain. There is no downtime involve and treatment can be done in the clinic or in the hospital.
Back pain, even if it’s chronic, can usually be treated or managed successfully, but about one in 10 people have ongoing problems. Back surgery is really only considered as a last resort if the pain is related to a specific cause.
Prevention of back pain
Good back care can greatly reduce your risk of getting low back pain. To look after your back, make sure you:
- take regular exercise – walking and swimming are particularly beneficial
- try to keep your stress levels to a minimum
- bend from your knees and hips, not your back
- maintain good posture – keep your shoulders back and don’t slouch