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Back Pain

Pain in the back is much like forgetting where you have placed your phone and grey hairs - it seems to get worse as we age. But how much back pain is normal before you have to seek the help of a professional? Is that stabbing feeling when you sit, stand and even sleep just the “creakiness” that comes with age, or are there symptoms you have to look out for before things get out of hand?

Before we answer that, let’s fully understand what back pain is before we dive deeper into this topic.

What Is Back Pain?

Back pain on its own is typically not considered a medical condition as it often is a symptom of another health problem. Your body’s main structural support is your spinal column and there are numerous parts of your body that depend on it. The main purpose of your spine is to keep you stable enough to stand upright yet mobile enough to move around. So, it does not come as a surprise that there are many who encounter problems with their backs from time to time.

The aches and pains can result from sore muscles, ligaments and tendons, medical conditions like herniated disks and/or fractures, as well as other problems in your upper, middle and lower back. Sometimes you get that sharp pain immediately, but in many cases, your back problem intensifies over time.

A girl has pain on her back
What Are The Causes of Back Pain?

What Are The Causes of
Back Pain?

In most cases, it is not possible to identify the exact cause of back pain. Some pain can be traced back to your bad habits such as:

  • poor posture, e.g., sitting with poor posture at a desk,
  • repeating the same motion and/or overdoing it, and
  • pushing, pulling and lifting things carelessly.

However, there may also be other causes that are related to your spine. The spine is made up of 24 bones called vertebrae that house and protect the spinal cord. It is the network that carries nerve signals from your brain to the rest of your body and vice versa.

Straining the bands of muscles that surround the spine, often in the curve of the low back and the base of the neck, is a common cause of back pain. Other reasons also include arthritis, osteoporosis, injuries from contact sports, accidents and falls. These can cause problems ranging from muscle strains, and herniated disks to fractures that damage the spinal column or cord.

Sometimes your back may be sore for no clear reason. That's called a non-specific backache. It could have stemmed from weakened muscles that couldn't handle your everyday walking, bending, and stretching.

Signs and Symptoms of Back Pain

Back pain can have many different symptoms including:

  • a dull, aching sensation,
  • a stabbing or shooting pain that can radiate down the leg to the foot,
  • an inability to stand up straight without pain, and
  • a decreased range of motion and reduced ability to flex the back.

Should your pain be due to muscle strain or misuse, the symptoms would usually be short-lived but can last for days or weeks.

Signs and Symptoms of Back Pain

When Should You Seek a Back Pain Treatment in Singapore?

If your back pain doesn’t improve within two weeks, sometimes it may be a result of a serious medical condition. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms for an extended period of time, do let your doctor know immediately.

back pain

severe, chronic pain lasting more than three months,

bladder

loss of bowel or bladder control,

pain in joints

numbness, tingling, or weakness in one or both legs,

back pain

back pain after trauma (injury), such as a fall or a blow to the back,

shoulder

intense, constant pain that gets worse at night,

weight loss

unexplained weight loss, and/or

liposuction

pain associated with a throbbing sensation in the abdomen.

Back Pain Treatments in Singapore

Here are some ways back pain can be treated.

Physiotherapy

Contrary to popular belief, exercise is the foundation of back pain treatment. It is recommended that you get treated under the guidance of your doctor and a physiotherapist. Based on the severity of your pain, a physiotherapist would design a back pain therapy routine tailored to your symptoms and conditions. Maintaining these routines at home would also lead to an even faster and more effective recovery.

Back pain physiotherapy may include:

  • retraining your posture,
  • understanding the limits of your pain,
  • stretching and flexibility exercises,
  • aerobic exercises,
  • core strengthening, and
  • help you gradually return to pain-free movements.
Physiotherapy

Diet

Some foods are highly inflammatory, especially those in high trans fats, refined sugars and/or have undergone processing. Do consult with your doctor if you suspect that your diet may be contributing to your back pain. Maintaining a healthy BMI would also lessen your back pain by reducing the load on your spine.

Diet

Lifestyle Modification

With back pain, it is important that you learn to listen to your body and pace yourself while gradually integrating light exercises like yoga and pilates to improve your overall well-being. As motion is lotion and movement will lubricate your body, moving that particular part of your body can make the aches and pains disappear. Although some activities can limit your movement due to inflammation, you should still move without your comfort zone to reduce the risk of developing chronic pain.

Once you’ve passed the acute phase of injury and the inflammation has gone down, you can slowly return back to your activities that used to cause you pain with exercise rehabilitation.

Lifestyle Modification

Alternative Treatments

Acupuncture, massage, laser therapy, electrical nerve stimulation and other non-surgical spine treatments can also make a difference in healing your back pain. Talk to your doctor about alternative treatments that could benefit you.

Alternative Treatment

Discover Exceptional Back Pain Treatments in Singapore

Physiotherapy

Effective Back Pain Therapy for Optimal Relief and Recovery

Find relief from your back problems with back pain physiotherapy. This targeted approach addresses root causes through advanced yet holistic techniques and exercises. By improving spinal alignment, strengthening core muscles, and enhancing flexibility, this treatment alleviates discomfort and prevents future issues. With back pain physiotherapy, you can regain mobility, restore function, and enjoy a pain-free life once again. Say goodbye to back pain and embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • How do I know if I am suffering from back pain?

    There are different symptoms to back pain ranging from muscle aches, sharp, tingling pain to shooting, burning or stabbing sensations that can occasionally radiate down your leg. Moving, bending and lifting poorly can make your aches worse.

  • How do I know if my back pain is serious?

    If you are suffering from these symptoms, then it is time you contact your doctor immediately.

    • severe, chronic pain lasting more than three months,
    • loss of bowel or bladder control,
    • numbness, tingling, or weakness in one or both legs,
    • back pain after trauma (injury), such as a fall or a blow to the back,
    • intense, constant pain that gets worse at night,
    • unexplained weight loss, and/or
    • pain associated with a throbbing sensation in the abdomen.
  • How long should back pain last?

    Some back pains disappear within a week or two but if you have been suffering for more than two weeks, please consult your doctor.

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