Exploring Lower Back Pain and its Comprehensive Treatment Options

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Lower back pain is a multifaceted problem influenced by various factors like lifestyle, medical conditions, and mechanical issues. It impacts a significant portion of the population, including those in manual labor and remote work settings, where prolonged sitting and reduced, physical activity can contribute to the issue. Orthopedic surgeons are pivotal in diagnosing and providing tailored solutions for back pain, especially in Singapore, where various treatment options are available to address the diverse causes of chronic lower back pain, offering relief to individuals suffering from this widespread problem.

Causes of Lower Back Pain – What You Need to Know

Back pain usually arises from a combination of three sources:

  1. Muscular back pain results from overworked lower back muscles, causing aching and cramping sensations.
  2. Discal pain stems from tears in the intervertebral discs, leading to sharp pain and the risk of disc protrusion.
  3. Facet joint pain originates in the spinal joints, known as facet joints, which can wear out and cause both back pain and buttock discomfort.

Musculoskeletal pain, especially back pain, is a complex condition to diagnose. Thus, it is crucial to consult an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in diagnosing and treating this type of condition. They can assess, interpret, and identify the cause of the pain. Their expertise ensures accurate diagnosis and helps develop effective treatment strategies, improving quality of life for patients.


Procedures to Effectively Diagnose Lower Back and Buttock Pain

The process of diagnosing lower back and buttock pain is thorough and begins with an orthopedic surgeon’s comprehensive medical interview to understand symptoms and potential causes. This includes assessing general health, past medical history, family background, and any existing health conditions like arthritis or diabetes that may influence treatment decisions. A detailed physical examination evaluates factors such as range of motion, swelling, reflexes, and mobility to confirm or rule out potential diagnoses. X-rays or MRI scans are often employed to identify structural issues or misalignments in the affected area, aiding in understanding the condition’s status and potential complications. These diagnostic steps enable the surgeon to provide an accurate diagnosis and discuss suitable treatment options based on the gathered information.

Lifestyle Changes for those with Lower Back and Buttock Pain

  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight can strain the lower back, so maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can reduce the burden on your spine.
  2. Exercise Regularly: Engaging in regular physical activity, especially exercises that strengthen the core and back muscles, can provide support and reduce back pain.
  3. Practice Good Posture: Being mindful of your posture while sitting and standing helps reduce stress on the lower back. Ergonomic adjustments at work and using proper lifting techniques are also emphasized.
  4. Quit Smoking: Smoking can restrict blood flow to the spine, potentially contributing to lower back pain. Quitting smoking can improve circulation and overall back health.
  5. Get Quality Sleep: Ensuring you have a comfortable mattress, and a proper sleep position supports spinal health and can alleviate back discomfort.


Lifestyle changes like losing weight, exercising, improving posture, quitting smoking, and getting enough sleep can help relieve lower back pain and improve spinal health, but they are only one part of a treatment plan. Some causes of lower back pain require specialised medical treatment. Thus, orthopaedic surgeons are trained to accurately diagnose your pain and create a customised treatment plan that may include lifestyle changes, physical therapy, medications, or surgery. Their expertise ensures you receive the best and most appropriate care for your condition, improving outcomes and well-being.

Physiotherapy Solutions for Lower Back Aches & Pains

Physical therapists aim to improve range of motion, physical function, and quality of life. Their comprehensive approach includes tailored exercises, manual therapies, and various modalities. Physical therapists also prevent injuries and disabilities from recurring. Their multifaceted skills enable them to treat health issues and empower patients to live more active, pain-free lives, improving their overall well-being.

Physiotherapy, also known as physical therapy, serves a dual purpose in managing back pain. It’s an initial treatment for mild back pain, where physical therapists create tailored exercise programs, employ various techniques, and provide education on body mechanics to alleviate discomfort and prevent future issues. Additionally, physiotherapy is crucial for post-surgery or intensive treatment recovery, helping patients rebuild strength, flexibility, and mobility after procedures like spinal surgery. In both cases, it’s a non-invasive and essential part of comprehensive care, improving back health, reducing pain, and enhancing overall well-being.

Understanding Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and Their Role in Alleviating Lower Back Pain

NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen relieve pain, inflammation, and swelling, including lower back pain. They inhibit prostaglandins, which cause pain, inflammation, and fever. NSAIDs relieve lower back pain by reducing inflammation. NSAIDs can also reduce swelling caused by muscle strains or injuries in the lower back. These medications provide temporary relief, but they should be part of a comprehensive treatment plan for chronic lower back pain and used under medical supervision to avoid side effects like gastrointestinal issues.


Chiropractic Adjustments – Is it Right For Your Unique Situation?

Chiropractic treatments, performed by chiropractors through spinal adjustments, can potentially help with lower back and buttock pain by improving spinal mobility and overall physical function. However, it’s crucial to consult with an orthopedic surgeon before pursuing chiropractic care for several reasons. Orthopedic surgeons are trained in musculoskeletal conditions and can accurately diagnose the root cause of the pain, ensuring that the right issue is addressed. They also provide safety precautions, identifying any conditions that might make chiropractic treatment risky. Furthermore, they can prevent unnecessary chiropractic adjustments if the pain stems from a problem that cannot be resolved through chiropractic care alone. This collaborative approach ensures that treatment is appropriate, safe, and effective, offering a comprehensive evaluation of the condition and informed decision-making.

Treatments for Lower Back and Buttock Pain

Back pain treatment typically involves addressing the root cause, with orthopaedic surgeons creating a treatment plan composed of either surgical or non-surgical options for managing your back condition. These can include:

  1. Medications to alleviate back, buttock, and leg pain.
  2. Guidance on lifestyle modifications to better manage and cope with back pain.
  3. Physiotherapy focused on strengthening back and core muscles, enhancing function, and reducing pain.
  4. Pain procedures designed to target the underlying sources of back pain.
  5. Surgical interventions aimed at relieving pinched nerves and stabilizing degenerated spines.


The Importance of Consulting an Orthopaedic Surgeon

Orthopaedic surgeons are instrumental in safeguarding the health and vitality of individuals across all age groups. The musculoskeletal system, encompassing bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves, constitutes a fundamental framework of the human body. The optimal performance of this system is indispensable for overall mobility and a high quality of life. It’s worth noting that individuals experience symptoms differently, and treatment approaches can vary significantly based on their unique pre-existing conditions and lifestyles. This personalized approach to care underscores the importance of orthopaedic surgeons in tailoring interventions to suit the specific needs and circumstances of each patient, ultimately promoting better health and well-being.


How can an orthopaedic surgeon or orthopaedic specialist help me?

Consulting an orthopaedic surgeon is essential for addressing musculoskeletal issues across all age groups. The musculoskeletal system is vital for mobility and well-being, and individual symptoms and treatment approaches vary based on unique conditions and lifestyles, emphasizing the need for personalized care.

Is chiropractic treatment the only available option for my back pain?

Before considering chiropractic adjustments for lower back and buttock pain, consulting an orthopedic surgeon is crucial. Surgeons can accurately diagnose the issue, ensure safety, and prevent unnecessary treatments, resulting in appropriate, safe, and effective care.

What are the treatment options for lower back and buttock pain?

Treatment for lower back and buttock pain, provided by orthopaedic surgeons, includes both surgical and non-surgical options. These treatments encompass medication, lifestyle guidance, physiotherapy, pain procedures, and surgical interventions, tailored to the patient’s specific condition.

What are some lifestyle changes that I can implement to combat lower back and buttock pain?

Lifestyle changes for those with lower back and buttock pain involve maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, practicing good posture, quitting smoking, and ensuring quality sleep to support spinal health and alleviate discomfort.

What are the causes of lower back pain?

Lower back pain can result from muscular, discal, or facet joint issues. It’s a complex condition, and consulting an orthopaedic surgeon is crucial for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, improving the quality of life for patients with musculoskeletal pain.


  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/160645
  2. https://www.theorthopaedicandpainpractice.com/service/lower-back-buttock-pain/
  3. https://www.theorthopaedicandpainpractice.com/back-pain-should-i-be-concerned-about-back-pain/

Dr Yong Ren’s Profile

Dr Yong Ren graduated from the National University of Singapore’s Medical faculty and embarked on his orthopaedic career soon after. Upon completion of his training locally, he served briefly as an orthopaedic trauma surgeon in Khoo Teck Puat hospital before embarking on sub-specialty training in Switzerland at the famed Inselspital in Bern.

He underwent sub-specialty training in pelvic and spinal surgery, and upon his return to Singapore served as head of the orthopaedic trauma team till 2019. He continues to serve as Visiting Consultant to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

Well versed in a variety of orthopaedic surgeries, he also served as a member of the country council for the local branch of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen (Trauma) in Singapore. He was also involved in the training of many of the young doctors in Singapore and was appointed as an Assistant Professor by the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. Prior to his entry into the private sector, he also served as core faculty for orthopaedic resident training by the National Healthcare Group.

Dr Yong Ren brings to the table his years of experience as a teacher and trainer in orthopaedic surgery. With his expertise in minimally invasive fracture surgery, pelvic reconstructive surgery, hip and knee surgery as well as spinal surgery, he is uniquely equipped with the tools and expertise necessary to help you on your road to recovery.

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Sarah Taylor

Obstetrics & Gynaecology