You may have troublesome chronic back pain for a long time. You may have tried many things including Pain-killers, Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Yoga, Pilates, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture or other Alternative Medicines. If you don’t get better you need to see a specialist who have experience in this area.
Now the most important thing is to exclude any serious conditions such as spine tumor, infection or fracture. This requires a thorough examination and investigations.
After serious conditions are excluded, we can relax a little bit. Many times, the causes are related to your activities and life-style such as sitting or driving too long and lack of exercises. Often with proper education and understanding and a change of life-style, chronic back pain can get significantly better. Sometimes, simple measures such as standing every 20-30 minutes when you need to sit for a long time can improve your back pain significantly.
Chronic back pain requires a more regular follow-up. The treatment often requires multidisciplinary approach. The treatment modalities that you have tried may be appropriate but need to be coordinated appropriately together with medications. The treatment aims to reduce the pain so that you can carry on with your regular activities comfortably with minimal or no medication.
Sometimes, the back pain is associated with mechanical problems such as spinal instability or nerve compression. Strengthening the core muscle is the key to this problem. In severe cases, surgical intervention is required. Fortunately, when the problem is clearly associated with spinal instability or nerve compression, surgical treatment has high chance to solve the problem. But don’t worry because surgical treatment is reserved only as the last resort and most patients don’t need it.
In summary, if your back pain don’t get better after your maximum efforts to treat it, you should consult specialist that has adequate experience in this area.
Author: Dr Tony Setiobudi BMedSci, MBBS, MRCS, MMed (Ortho), FRCS (Ortho), Orthopaedic and Spine Surgeon, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore