Finding Comfort: Lower Back & Buttock Pain Treatment Options in Singapore

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What is Lower Back & Buttock Pain?

Lower back pain is a complex issue influenced by various factors, including lifestyle choices, medical conditions, and mechanical problems. It affects a significant portion of the population, especially those engaged in manual labor or remote work. Prolonged sitting and reduced physical activity in remote work settings can contribute to back problems. Orthopedic surgeons play a crucial role in diagnosing and treating back pain, tailoring solutions to address the specific underlying causes. In Singapore, chronic lower back pain treatment options are available to help individuals suffering from this widespread issue, which can range from persistent discomfort to severe agony due to a range of factors, including mechanical spine issues, inflammatory conditions, and medical ailments.


How Can Chiropractic Treatments Help with Lower Back Pain? 

Chiropractic adjustment, performed by chiropractors, involves applying controlled force to spinal joints either manually or with a small instrument. This technique, known as spinal manipulation, aims to enhance spinal mobility and overall physical function. Consulting an orthopedic surgeon before engaging in chiropractic treatment is crucial for several reasons, especially when dealing with lower back and buttock pain:

  1. Orthopedic surgeons underwent extensive training in musculoskeletal conditions. They can accurately diagnose the underlying cause of the pain through thorough evaluation, imaging studies (like X-rays or MRI), and medical history assessment. This ensures that the right problem is being addressed.
  2. Safety Precautions: Chiropractic adjustments involve the manipulation of the spine, and while they can be effective, they may not be suitable or safe for everyone. An orthopedic surgeon can identify any conditions that might make chiropractic treatment risky or ineffective.
  3. Orthopedic surgeons can help prevent patients from undergoing unnecessary chiropractic adjustments if the pain is caused by an issue that cannot be resolved through chiropractic care alone.

Consulting an orthopedic surgeon before pursuing chiropractic treatment for lower back and buttock pain is essential to ensure that the treatment is appropriate, safe, and effective. It allows for a comprehensive evaluation of the condition and helps in making informed decisions regarding the most suitable course of action.

Common Symptoms of Lower Back & Buttock Pain

Back pain symptoms can appear in many ways. Back problems are frequently associated with buttock pain, which typically results from worn-out facet joints in the spine. However, muscle strains in the buttock region can also be the cause of buttock pain. The narrowing of nerve passages in the spine frequently results in sciatica or radicular pain, which is a shooting pain that radiates down the leg. This narrowing may be caused by disc degeneration or facet joint osteoarthritis, which can cause pinched nerves and a pain that radiates down the leg and is frequently described as electric or lightning pain. Additionally, another symptom can be weakness and numbness in the legs or feet. Leg cramps, especially when walking, can happen in cases of severe spinal canal narrowing. Additionally, nerve compression in the spinal canal, also known as paraesthesia, can cause tingling, burning, or sensations that feel like insects are crawling on the skin. Cauda equina syndrome, a rare and severe form of disc injury where the disc protrudes and presses on the nerves controlling bowel and bladder functions, can also result in loss of bowel and bladder control.


Sources and Causes of Lower Back & Buttock Pain

Lower back and buttock pain can have diverse origins, classified as injury-related and atraumatic sources. Injury-related pain often results from accidents like falls or car crashes, while atraumatic pain can develop without a specific incident, often triggered by everyday movements like bending or overreaching. In some cases, back pain may indicate more serious issues like infections or spinal tumors, especially if accompanied by weight loss or fever. The main sources of back pain include muscular strain from overuse, pain stemming from intervertebral discs due to tears or protrusion, and discomfort in facet joints, which can deteriorate over time. Recognizing these distinct sources is crucial for diagnosing and effectively treating back pain.

Identifying the Right Approach to Managing Low-Back Discomfort  

Diagnosing lower back and buttock pain involves a comprehensive approach. Initially, an orthopedic surgeon conducts a thorough medical interview to understand the symptoms and potential causes. They inquire about your general health, past medical conditions, family history, and existing health issues like arthritis or diabetes, which could impact treatment decisions. A detailed physical examination assesses your range of motion, swelling, reflexes, and overall mobility, helping confirm or exclude potential diagnoses. To gain further insight, X-rays or MRI scans are often used to reveal structural changes or misalignments in the affected area, aiding in understanding the condition’s current state and potential complications. These diagnostic techniques enable the surgeon to provide a precise diagnosis and discuss appropriate treatment options based on the gathered information.


The treatment of lower back and buttock pain focuses on addressing the underlying condition and involves a wide range of options. These include medications to alleviate pain, lifestyle adjustments to manage back pain, tailored physiotherapy programs to strengthen back and core muscles and improve function, pain procedures for cases requiring direct intervention, and in severe instances, surgical procedures to release pinched nerves and stabilize the spine. Treatment decisions are made collaboratively with a specialized team dedicated to managing back-related issues, ensuring a comprehensive and personalized approach to care.

The Role of Orthopaedic Surgeons

In the context of Singapore’s medical landscape, orthopaedic surgeons play a pivotal role in addressing a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. These specialized medical professionals are crucial in ensuring the health and well-being of individuals of all ages. The musculoskeletal system, which encompasses bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves, is a fundamental component of the human body, and its proper functioning is essential for overall mobility and quality of life.


Questions to Ask Your Orthoapedic Surgeon

  1. What is the precise cause of my lower back and buttock pain?
  2. What are the available treatment options for my specific condition?
  3. What are the potential risks and benefits of each treatment option?
  4. Are there any lifestyle modifications or physical therapy exercises that can help alleviate my pain?
  5. What is the expected timeline for recovery and when can I expect to return to my normal activities?

During a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon for lower back and buttock pain, it’s important to ask questions to gain a better understanding of your condition and treatment options. You can also inquire about insurance coverage for treatments and other related concerns.


What are the potential causes of my lower back pain?

Lower back and buttock pain can originate from various sources, including injuries and everyday movements, and may indicate serious conditions like infections or tumors. Understanding the distinct sources, such as muscular strain, disc-related pain, and facet joint discomfort, is essential for diagnosis and treatment.

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

Treating lower back and buttock pain involves addressing the underlying condition, with options ranging from medications and lifestyle adjustments to physiotherapy and surgical procedures. Collaborative decision-making with a specialized team ensures a personalized approach to care.

Is it safe to go for chiropractic treatments?

Before considering chiropractic treatment for lower back and buttock pain, consulting an orthopedic surgeon is crucial. An orthopaedic surgeon’s expertise in musculoskeletal conditions, ability to assess safety precautions, and capacity to identify conditions unsuitable for chiropractic care ensure appropriate and effective treatment decisions.

How do orthopaedic surgeons diagnose pain?

Diagnosing lower back and buttock pain entails a comprehensive process, starting with a detailed medical interview and physical examination. Imaging studies like X-rays or MRI scans are used to provide insight into the condition’s state, aiding in precise diagnosis and treatment planning.

What do orthopaedic surgeons do?

In Singapore’s medical landscape, orthopedic surgeons are integral in addressing musculoskeletal issues, ensuring the well-being of individuals of all ages. Their expertise in managing conditions like arthritis, trauma, and congenital disorders plays a crucial role in maintaining mobility and overall health in a world-class healthcare environment.



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