Back Pain

Back pain is universal. Almost all of us experience back pain at least once in a lifetime.


Causes of back pain are diverse. It may occur after physical activity, lifting objects, after uncomfortable night sleep and bending or twisting. It can occur due to either problem with your muscles, disc or bone.

General information regarding back pain:

  • With aging, the muscles and the bones become weak. People become more prone to develop backache with advancing age.
  • Being overweight also makes one more likely to develop backache.
  • People who are physically inactive and exercise less are likely to develop back pain.
  • Pregnancy can add stress to lower back and can cause back pain .
  • Certain jobs- requiring heavy lifting- as well as jobs that are sedentary, both make workers prone to backache.
  • Stress and anxiety can also cause or increase back pain.

Life style modifications for back pain:

  • If you are having back pain try avoiding stairs, lifting heavy objects, doing any strenuous activity, running or gym exercises.
  • You should ideally have hard mattress on your bed. Spring mattresses are known to aggravate the back pain. Please replace your mattress if it is worn out.
  • At work, use chair that has proper lumbar support. Your hips and knees should be at the right angle.
  • Avoid sitting on the chair for a long time.
  • Avoid sitting on floor. Use seat commode in washroom or toilet.
  • Avoid jobs that require physical hard work or prolonged standing or walking.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I have to wear the back belt (lumbosacral support) all times that doctor has prescribed me?

You can remove your belt when you are on bed and while having your meal. Other times it’s better to wear your belt.

Is back surgery dangerous and can it cause permanent paralysis?

This is the biggest misunderstanding prevailing in our society. Back surgery for disc disease is very safe and usually does not cause any paralysis. You need to ask your surgeon before surgery in detail.

Is surgery necessary for my back pain?

Majority of patients with back pain can be managed with drug therapy and lifestyle modifications. However, when there are disc problems that compress the nerve roots, it is better to have surgery done rather than taking medicines for years.

What if I do not get surgery for back pain even though my doctor has strongly recommended surgery?

If you are recommended surgery by your doctor then you should get it done. If you don’t get surgery, then problem will keep on increasing and you will need additional amount of painkillers and other drugs that will only help you temporarily.  Eventually the problem may become so severe that you may lose your mobility or get other irreversible complications.

What are the danger signs in patients having backache?
  • Loss of control on urination or loss of bowel control.
  • Difficulty in passing urine.
  • Fever or weight loss.
  • Any swelling in the back.
  • Back pain that goes in your thighs or legs.
  • Numbness in your legs, hips or genital area.
  • Backache that seriously limits your activities of daily life.
When should I see the doctor?

You can see the doctor when any of the danger signs (listed above) are present or if your back pain lasts more than two weeks and all your precautions have not worked.

Do I need surgery for back?

Surgery for back pain is only necessary when there is problem with disc or back bone that cannot be managed with drug therapy. Majority of people with back pain get better with drugs and lifestyle modifications.

The information given here is intended for use of general public . It should not be taken as standard medical reference.

About the Author:

One of the most well known neurologists in Lahore, he is serving as Assistant Professor of Neurology at Lahore General Hospital. He is a graduate of King Edward Medical College and did residency in general medicine & neurology at Mayo Hospital Lahore. He did FCPS in neurology and moved to Lahore General Hospital, and has been working there since.

One Comment

  1. Areesha Khan June 21, 2020 at 1:54 am - Reply

    I have developed acne after bells palsy will it go away automatically or I have to take any medicines for this

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