Are you experiencing back pain that does not improve within a few weeks. The back pain stops you doing your daily activities. The back pain is getting severe and worse over time. You are worried about the pain in the back and are struggling to cope with the back pain.
You can see our specialist, who will ask about your symptoms, examine your back, and discuss possible treatments.
Back pain is very common.
Pain in the lower back (lumbago) is particularly common, although it can be felt anywhere along the spine – from the neck down to the hips.
In most cases the pain isn’t caused by anything serious.
Sometimes the pain can last a long time or keep coming back.
Treatments from a back pain specialist
NSAIDs can relieve back pain and help you to stay active.
A physiotherapist may offer you the following treatments.
- An exercise programme, involving physical activity, movement, muscle strengthening, controlling your posture and stretching.
- ‘Hands on’ (manual) therapy, such as massage or spine manipulation.
An epidural is an injection that contains a steroid dissolved in a local anaesthetic. It’s injected into a gap called the epidural space, which surrounds your spinal cord. The local anaesthetic will block the pain, while the steroid will reduce swelling and inflammation.
Surgery is very rarely suitable for people with lower back pain. Your surgeon will usually only offer you surgery for back pain if no other treatments have helped and a specific cause has been identified.
Causes of back pain
Often it’s not possible to identify the cause of back pain. Doctors call this “non-specific” back pain.
Sometimes the pain may be a result of an injury such as a sprain or strain, but often it occurs for no apparent reason. It’s very rarely caused by anything serious.
Occasionally back pain can be due to a medical condition such as:
- Slipped Disc – where a disc of cartilage in the spine presses on a nearby nerve
- Sciatica – irritation of the nerve that runs from the pelvis to the feet
These conditions tend to cause additional symptoms – such as numbness, weakness or a tingling sensation.