What are the common causes of Back Pain?

Low back pain is one of the most common problems suffered by patients worldwide. It is responsible for not only countless hours off work and lost quality of life, but also billions of dollars worth diagnostic work-up and medical treatment.

Almost everyone suffers from at least an episode or two of back pain during their life-time. Some of the backaches last only for a  short duration, while others become persistent. It is important to differentiate serious causes from the less-serious causes of back pain.

Three common ways of describing back pain include:

  • Localized (pain located over a specific part of the back)
  • Radiating (pain felt from back to other parts of the body, usually one or both legs)
  • Referred (pain felt over the back due to disturbances in some other part of the body)

It is important to bear in mind that back pain does not necessarily always arise from problems in the vertebral column or spinal structures. Some of the other structures in human body which can give rise to backaches include:

  • Uterus
  • Kidney
  • Urinary bladder
  • Retroperitoneal lymph nodes

Herniated Disk and Back Pain
Some specific pain generators that can cause localized back pain include:

  • Muscle spasm, myofascial syndrome or fibromyalgia
  • Injured ligaments from a back sprain
  • Facet joints (articulations of vertebral bone) arthritis.

Sciatica is a type of pain often described as “a current like sensation going down my leg”.

It usually indicates nerve root irritation or compression occurring as a result of:

  • Lumbar Spondylosis, a degenerative condition of the spine that can cause lumbar canal stenosis
  • Prolapsed intervertebral disc (or slipped disc)
  • Spinal tumors or infections

As there are many different causes of back pain, and some of these can have serious or urgent implications, it is important to always get your doctor to do a full assessment and to properly diagnose and treat back pain.

If you are unsure of the cause of your back pain, or if your back pain has not improved despite standard treatments and have been told to consider surgery,
simply call us at +65 6732 2397 or leave a message below for Dr Tan to discuss a customized non-invasive solution for you.