Lower back pain affects 60-80% of adults, it is the second common reason for consulting your family doctor, and is the most common cause of disability in patients under 45 years old. There are many different causes, and 80% of patients do not have definite diagnosis. However, 90% patients recover and do well with conservative treatment.
What causes back pain?
The most common cause of back pain is a torn or pulled muscle or ligament strain
How best to prevent back ache?
Avoid heavy housework/ lifting
Maintain healthy weight
Avoid repetitive work/ strain
Minimise mental stress
Minimise injury/ trauma
Other lower back pain causes (chronic)
Pain is considered chronic if the pain lasts for more than 3 months. Common causes include;
Less common causes of back pain are from;
Types of pain symptoms
Fast (localized) and slow (aching/throbbing)
Somatic (skin, joints, muscles and bones)
Visceral (from internal organs)
Acute and Chronic
A diagnosis takes into account (and not limited to) the following;
Bone Mineral Densitometry
Electromyography / Nerve conduction test
Special scans (MRI scan, CT scan, Bone scan etc)
Who needs an X-ray or MRI Scan?
It is recommended that a X-ray or MRI scan if you are experiencing the following; pain, have numbness or suffer from weakness or tingling. In older patients, if you have difficulty in walking. Other symptoms may appear, if you may have difficulty in passing motion/urine or have discomfort pain at night.
Non-surgery back pain relief
Good posture & habits
Anxiolytic / antidepressant
Physical & occupational therapy
Acupuncture, TCM therapy
Who needs surgery?
Pain from nerve compression
Pain from spine instability
Not better with non-surgery treatment
Conditions that may require surgery
Prolapased intervertebral disc (slipped disc)
Spinal deformity (scoliosis, kyphosis)
Spinal instability (eg spondylolisthesis)