Low Back Pain

Most of us will suffer at least one episode of back pain at some point in our lives, and this will usually resolve spontaneously with some over-the-counter pain relief. When back pain is persistent, severe or starts to impact on living it becomes necessary to seek medical attention.

There are a number of causes of back pain, including disc disease and arthritis, however in the majority of people no specific cause is found. While this can be frustrating, it is also reassuring that a sinister disease is not apparent.

There are a number of treatments for back pain, including exercises, medications and back supports.The aims of treatment include:

  • Managing pain
  • Reducing time away from work
  • Preventing the development of disability and dysfunction
  • Minimising the psychological distress that frequently accompanies back pain

Very rarely, surgery can be used to treat back pain. However this will only be considered when:

  • the cause of the back pain is known, for example, a slipped disc
  • the potential benefits of surgery outweigh the risks

The non-surgical treatment options for back pain can generally produce a significant reduction in symptoms, allowing you to return to work and normal activities. However, it is important to keep in mind that the aim of treatment is always to reduce pain, as eliminating back pain altogether is notoriously difficult.

Symptoms

29 September, 2011