Low Back Pain

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.

Contents:

  • 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.

Spine Anatomy

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.

Spine Surgery

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

Call +65 64712674 to check your spine and end your back pain today.

Call (+65) 6471 2674 (24 hrs) for any queries you may have.

  1. GG says:

    Dear Doctor Kevin,

    I have been suffering from lower back pain for quite some time. Recently it became worse with the pain sometimes radiating down my legs.There is an achny feeling around my left groin and I my left buttock when I sit for long. I recently had an mri done. My reports show “a generalised disc bulge at L4/L5. L5/S1 generalised disc bulge indents the anterior epidural space and there is contact between the left exited L5 root with the bulging disc.” I have consutled a neurosurgeon in private practice and was told to undergo a procedure called Laserdiscopathy. I am undecided as to whether to go fot it. Could you please advise.

    Thank you.

  2. Tarun says:

    Good Eveing Doctor,

    My name is Tarun, I’ve a chronic lower back pain for at least past 3 years, this is persistent and I think this is increasing. I’ve shown to some doctors…now I think I need to go for a MRI. PLEASE let me know what is the good time to talk and seek an appointment.

    regards,Tarun

  3. Connie Ng says:

    Dear Dr Kevin Yip

    I have a close friend who had implants in her back spinal some years ago and now suffering pain.

    She is now seeking further treatment and some friends suggested the use of cushions filled with little ‘air-bubbles’, that is tiny pockets of air-sealed in plastic to provide back support which will follow the body shap/position. She is interested to have such devices and appreciate your kind advice about getting them.

    Thank you.

    Connie Ng

  4. Steve Lim says:

    Hi Kevin,

    i have gone through the x-tray and have been diagnosis with Thoracis Scoliosis and would like to enquire on the cost and types of treatment available.

    Thanks with Regards,
    Steve

  5. Jes says:

    Hi Dr Yip,

    Does epidural side effect causes lower back pain after birth? My baby was 9mths old now.

    Recently I’m suffering from lower back pain and resulted sleepless night and don’t know is it because of this reason my migraine and nausea attack me at the same time. I had this back pain since last friday until now. My migraine had stopped as I took medicine.

    I when for acupuctune and massage it doesn’t seem effective neither ease the pain also.

    Awaiting for your advise, alternatively can I arrange appointment for treatment rather than suffer stiffness, aching and pain.

    Thank you.

  6. Michele says:

    Hi Dr Yip.
    My husband is 52yrs. At 19 he received a wound in his lower back, resulting in half a lung removed and ribs missing.He has lead a very active life; ranching in africa until 2006. Changing his profession to working in Singapore. His knees have worn out (due to all the activity he has done)and he is becoming bandy legged. He was told he needed a knee replacement. He will not have one until absolutely neccessary, he is looking into have shoes made for now. His cartlige (especially the one knee) is no longer on one side, hence the shoes. He is a man that can endure a lot of pain and not complain at all, but in the last few days he is suffering a lot in his lower back.He is not quick to see any doctor unless I nag. Please help.

  7. ps says:

    Hi Mr. Baharudin,

    Thank you. Nice talking to you earlier.

    Please give me a call 64712674 if you want to book the appointment.

    Regards,
    PS

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