Lower back pain is a common condition that affects people of all ages. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, poor posture, and stress. In most cases, lower back pain can be relieved with home treatment. However, if your pain is severe or does not improve with home treatment, you may need to see an orthopaedic or medical professional.
Back pain is an issue that affects many people in the present day. With more people working from home these days, there is a new kind of issue surfacing: back pain caused by lack of exercise and sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time. This can lead to weight gain and muscle loss, making people more susceptible to damage to their back. Additionally, sitting for too long can increase the force placed on the lower region of the spine, increasing the risk of injury.
Back pain can be caused by a combination of three major factors. Muscular back pain is due to the overworking of the lower back muscles, which can cause aching or cramping. Discal pain is caused by a tear in the outer fibres of the intervertebral disc, which can lead to sharp pain and a risk of disk protrusion. Facet joint pain is the result of pain arising from the joints of the spine, which can wear out and cause pain in the back and buttock areas.
Depending on the cause and how serious your back pain is, you may want to try some home treatments to provide relief until your back is back to its usual state.
Stretch – Having tight muscles in your back can put extra strain on your spine and its joints. Establishing a daily stretching routine can help to keep your back in good condition.
Proper posture – If you have a bad posture when seated, the discs in your lower back are under more stress than when you’re standing. If you need to be seated for a long time, make sure to take breaks and move around regularly.
Walk – Going for a stroll is an incredibly secure and beneficial activity. Moving at a quicker pace while at work or outdoors can assist you in sustaining a healthy weight and reduce stress on your back.
Avoid sleeping on your back – Sleeping in a flat position can cause strain on the spine. To reduce this, placing a pillow beneath the knees while lying on the back can be beneficial. For those who prefer to sleep on their sides, a pillow between the knees can help reduce back discomfort.
Treatment of back pain is usually undertaken by the treatment of the underlying condition. Various medications may be employed to ease your discomfort. Acetaminophen can provide relief with minimal side effects. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen may be used to reduce pain and swelling. Steroids, either taken orally or injected into the spine, give a strong dose of anti-inflammatory medicine. Muscle relaxers like methocarbamol, carisoprodol, and cyclobenzaprine are a type of oral medication that can be helpful; however, they can make you drowsy, so it is best to refrain from driving or performing activities that require alertness when taking them.
Managing low back pain can involve a combination of medications, therapeutic treatments, and physical activity. Passive treatments such as heat, ice, massage, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation may be used to provide relief. Active therapies, such as stretching, weight lifting, and aerobic exercises, may be recommended to restore motion and strength to the lower back. Braces, chiropractic therapies, and traction may also be used, though scientific evidence for their effectiveness is limited. Some patients may also find relief through exercise-based programs such as Pilates or yoga.
Surgery for low back pain should not be the first option for treatment. It is recommended that nonsurgical methods be attempted for a period of 6 months to a year before considering surgery. Additionally, surgery is only recommended if the doctor can determine the source of the pain. Surgery is not necessarily the only option if other treatments have been ineffective. Some people with chronic low back pain may not be suitable for surgery, regardless of the severity of their pain. In some cases, surgery is not an effective treatment option.
The source of lower back pain is not always easily identifiable and it can often improve on its own. Using rest, heat or cold therapy, over-the-counter pain relievers, and gentle stretching may help in the recovery process. However, it is important to visit a doctor if the pain is severe, not getting better, or accompanied by other symptoms such as tingling or numbness in the legs. People should seek immediate medical attention if they experience any of the following in addition to lower back pain: difficulty walking or moving the legs, loss of bowel or bladder control, loss of sensation in the legs, or very severe pain. A doctor can help diagnose what is causing the lower back pain and provide a suitable treatment plan.
It is not uncommon to experience back pain. There are a few potential causes, from sprains to medical conditions, as well as being overweight or inactive. Fortunately, most lower back pain can be resolved within days or weeks without surgery, and there are some preventive measures that can be taken to avoid it in the future.
Exercise – If you are experiencing back pain, you may believe that taking a break from physical activity and resting are the best ways to get relief. Although a couple of days of rest can be beneficial, more than that may not be the best option. Regular exercise can help to reduce inflammation and muscle tension.
Watch your weight – Having too much weight, especially around your abdomen, can contribute to back pain by altering the balance of your body and putting strain on your lower back. Keeping your weight within 10 pounds of your optimal weight may help reduce back pain.
Stop smoking – The restricted flow of nutrient-rich blood to spinal discs caused by smoking puts smokers at an increased risk of experiencing back pain.
Get enough sleep – If you have a tendency to experience back pain, it would be wise to consult a medical professional about the ideal sleeping position. It is sometimes advised to sleep on one’s side, with your legs slightly bent towards your chest. If you are more inclined to sleep on your back, it is suggested to place a pillow under your knees and another one under your lower back.
Lower back pain is a common condition that can be caused by a variety of factors. There are many effective treatments available, and your doctor can help you find the best one for you. If you are experiencing lower back pain, it is important to see a doctor to get a diagnosis and discuss treatment options. With the right treatment, most people can find relief from lower back pain and get back to their normal activities.
Lower back pain is pain in the lower back, which can range from mild to severe. It is a common condition that affects people of all ages.
There are many causes of lower back pain, including:
● Injury, such as a muscle strain or a herniated disc.
● Degenerative conditions, such as arthritis or osteoporosis.
● Poor posture.
The diagnosis of lower back pain is usually made based on your medical history and physical examination. Your doctor may also order imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI, to rule out other conditions.
There are many ways to treat lower back pain, including:
● Ice or heat therapy.
● Over-the-counter pain medication.
● Physical therapy.
You should see a doctor for lower back pain if:
● The pain is severe or does not improve with home treatment.
● The pain is accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, numbness, or weakness.
● You have a history of cancer or other serious medical conditions.
Surgery is usually only recommended for severe cases of lower back pain that do not respond to other treatments. There are risks associated with any surgery, including:
● Nerve damage.
● Reaction to anesthesia.
There are a few things you can do to help prevent lower back pain, including:
Maintaining a healthy weight.
● Exercising regularly.
● Good posture.
● Avoiding lifting heavy objects.
There are many new treatments being developed for lower back pain, including:
● Stem cell therapy.
● Platelet-rich plasma injections.
● Electrical stimulation therapy.
● Artificial intelligence-guided treatment.
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.