Back pain 

Introduction 

The structure of the back

The back is a complex structure that consists of:

  • 24 small bones (vertebrae) that support the weight of your upper body and form a protective canal for the spinal cord
  • shock-absorbing discs (intervertebral discs) that cushion the bones and allow the spine to bend
  • ligaments that hold the vertebrae and discs together
  • tendons that connect muscles to vertebrae
  • the spinal cord, which carries nerve signals from the brain to the rest of the body
  • nerves
  • muscles

 

The lumbar region

The lumbar region is the lower part of the back. It is made up of five vertebrae: L1, L2, L3, L4 and L5.

The lumbar region supports the entire weight of your upper body (plus any extra weight that you are carrying). It is under constant pressure, particularly when you are bending, twisting and lifting. This is why most cases of back pain develop in the lower back.

Back pain is a common condition that affects most people at some point during their life. Most cases of back pain are associated with pain and stiffness in the lower back.

Types of back pain

Back pain is classified in two main ways:

  • specific back pain – pain that is associated with an underlying health condition or damage to the spine
  • non-specific back pain – where the pain is not caused by serious damage or disease, but by sprains, muscle strains, minor injuries or a pinched or irritated nerve

Causes of specific back pain include:

  • sciatica – a condition caused by a nerve in the back (the sciatic nerve) being irritated or compressed
  • slipped disc – where one of the discs of the spine (see box, left) splits and the gel inside leaks out
  • ankylosing spondylitis – a condition where the joints at the base of the spine become inflamed

This article focuses on non-specific back pain.

Back pain can also be classified according to how long the symptoms last. For example:

  • acute back pain – the pain does not last longer than six weeks
  • chronic back pain – the pain lasts for more than six weeks

How common is back pain?

Back pain is a very common condition and can affect adults of all ages.

It is estimated that one in five people will visit their GP in any given year because of back pain. And 80% of adults will experience at least one episode of back pain at some point in their life.

Chronic back pain is less common than acute back pain, but it is still very widespread. In England, chronic back pain is the second most common cause of long-term disability (after arthritis). After stress, it is the leading cause of long-term work-related absence. A recent study found that one in every 10 people reported having some degree of chronic back pain.

The rates of reported cases of back pain in England have doubled over the past 40 years – a trend that is seen in almost all Western nations. There are a number of theories to explain the rise in the number of cases.

One theory is that the rates of obesity, depression and stress are now higher than they were in the past. These conditions are all risk factors for chronic back pain. Another theory is that people are now more willing to report symptoms of pain to their GP than they were in the past. See Back pain - causes for more information.

Outlook

The outlook for back pain can vary considerably between individuals. Some people have minor episodes of acute back pain before making a full recovery.

Other people have long periods of mild to moderate back pain that are interrupted by periods of severe pain, which makes them unable to do their normal daily activities.

An Australian study which looked at people who visited their GP because of back pain found that:

  • 40% were completely free of pain within six weeks
  • 58% were pain-free within 12 weeks
  • 73% were pain-free within one year

Psychological and social factors play an important role in the expected outlook for back pain, particularly for chronic back pain.

For example, people who have a positive frame of mind and report enjoying a good quality of life tend to make a faster recovery than those who report symptoms of depression and are unhappy with one or more aspects of their life.

Treatment options for back pain include painkillers, spinal manipulation, acupuncture and exercise classes. Some cases of chronic back pain may also benefit from additional psychological treatment for the reasons discussed above.

Last reviewed: 27/08/2010

Next review due: 27/08/2012

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tiger7372 said on 29 April 2011

I have read with interest many of the comments here and I sympathise entirely as a long-term back pain sufferer myself. What many of you might perceive as apathy from your GP may not be the case. While they acknowledge and understand your concerns, an onward referral is the best thing for you - back pain is very poorly understood, not because nobody cares but because it is complicated. Typically, referral will be to a physio to begin with. The physios are experts in musculoskeletal physical diagnosis and they will at least provide an idea as to what is happening. You are unlikely to experience immediate pain relief so don't expect it. You may see an orthopaedic surgeon who will provide and MRI or x-ray - imaging is useful but can be misleading - most people (back pain or not) will have some bulging / deterioration. Ortho management might be an injection, surgery if needed or back to physio (knowing that all else is excluded). Then its the pain management team - they are not explicitly trying to rid you of your pain but help you manage with it. Accepting and learning to live with pain is liberating and very important - no longer are you controlled by the pain but, knowing that you are doing no further harm to yourself, you can do thing you want to do (within reason). It might sound glib, but sometimes back pain can be permanent, and constantly searching for the diagnosis and magic treatment can be more detrimental to your life than the pain itself. The pain team will give you your life back if nothing else - they consist of doctors, physios, psychologists. occupational therapists, etc... Just beware of alternative therapies – the information you receive (like you need six-monthly adjustments / manipulations) are usually laced with self-serving intention. Basically, if an alternative treatment works (e.g. acupuncture) the NHS will offer it. Stick to what the experts have to offer.

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Alexandria17 said on 12 April 2011

Hi, this is not about me, this is about my mum. She has had increasingly agonising back pains since she was about 20years old, she is now 53. The pain has now got to the point where she is unable to move without it causing her pain. She visited the hospital on several occasions and they incouraged her to stop taking her oramorph so that they can moniter her pain. She followed through and took the oppertunity to find out what was wrong with her back, they first told her that she had got 'buldging disks', then it changed to 'your spine is disintergrating' and now they are saying that they do not know what it causing the pain and that she has to learn to 'live with it'. She has been trying to make a normal life for herself and me except I cannot just sit around waiting for the day that her pain is going to be so bad that it is unbearable. She is now still taking to oramorph - 1tablet in the morning and 1tablet at night. This does not seem to be helping, and neither has the treatment that she recieved. We have no clue what the pain is caused by as the doctors(GP) and the doctors from the hosputal do not know either. It is getting ridiculous and if anybody would be willing to give me some help and advice I will willingly take it.

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TheAverIn said on 12 April 2011

Every time a sqwot to long or lift somthing my back start hurting it use to be that it only hurt when i lift heavy thing but now it seems doing just a bout any thng will throw my lower back out and im not sure why it hurts i was hopeing to find answers on this website

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Caspar said on 11 April 2011

BBC medical programme – looking for sufferers of chronic back pain & osteoarthritis

Oxford Scientific Films is making a pilot medical programme for the BBC. The show aims to help the British public become healthier and better manage common illnesses such as back pain.

The programme is presented by two experts, one a medical doctor, the other a science professor, who share a private practice together in Harley St. During the programme our experts will examine and treat three patients, and explain the science behind the condition and treatment.

We are looking for people with chronic back pain or osteoarthritis who may be interested in appearing in the pilot. Our experts would offer them a bespoke personalized treatment programme lasting up to six weeks, and we would follow the course of their treatment in the programme.

If you are interested in taking part in the programme please contact Davina Bristow at dbristow@oxfordscientificfilms.tv or on 0207 317 1359.

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sushil said on 06 April 2011

Take your doctor's advice before attempting any exercises, if you are already experiencing back pain.
There is no need of any special equipment for doing exercises to reduce low back pain.and it is also not complicated.

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jayjay4711 said on 28 March 2011

Have suffered from back pain for many years and found in the beginning that stretching gave me relief. No more. I'm now in my 60's and the pain is constant. Pain killers do very little to alleviate the paid and exercise - even light like walking is impossible (I'm no martyr). I shall keep hunting for relief and hope that something comes up soon. Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Toxdom said on 21 March 2011

Re Tracey Hubble

I suggest you ask your GP to refer you to be tested for a genetic condition called alkaptonuria. Look it up, black bones and lower back problems from age 30-40 onwards.
good luck.

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gemily89 said on 12 March 2011

I am 21 years old I have suffered immensely with severe sever back pain to the extent some days I cannot walk and I just keep getting brushed off by the doctors with weak painkillers or ibuprofen/naproxen I have been to AnE 4 times as sometimes I have been stuck in certain positions and they've just given me voltarol and sent me home I am 21 and just want to live a normal life i work in the care profession and I just want to be able to enjoy my job and go out with friends and I cant! Why wont the Health system help me??

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foREVerharmless said on 09 March 2011

After a severe cold over Christmas, I suddenly developed extreme pain in my lower pack and pelvis. I tried painkillers and heat packs but nothing seemed to work. Early February I went to the doctors and was prescribed a six week course of Ibuprofen, despite saying painkillers didn't work. I went back to the doctors two weeks after finishing the painkillers. I have now been referred for physiotherapy. Just as a side note, I mentioned that as I am currently doing my GCSE's, I wondered if my refferal could be made later. The doctor said I wasn't to worry as the waiting list was so long, it is likely I'll be in college before any treatment begins.
After looking through this website, I have seen that quite a few people using the contraceptive injection also suffer back pain. My GP and the doctor I saw on my second appointment are aware that I use the Injection, should I be concerned that the link wasn't made?

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jimfield said on 26 February 2011

I have suffered with back pain for ten years, I am now 85. I have tried chiroprctic ,acupuncture and various other remedys. Fortunately painkillers work for me ,codine/para, without side effects. Sadly my wife who is 89 suffers from extreme debillitating back pain and nothing her gp does helps in any way we are at a dead end .just waiting for the end. Sad.
jim

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Angpuss said on 18 February 2011

For 2 years now I have been plagued with chronic debilitating lower back pain. An MRI of the area has been done and reveals some accelerated degeneration of the joints but not sufficient to really explain the level of pain I am experiencing. Recently I have begun to have episodes where my lower body becomes numb and my legs give out. On occasion this leads to loss of bladder control. I have been passed from one specialist to another with no definative answers. I rely on pain medication to get through my days and am developinig a tolerance. Yet that is the only thing which seems to provide any relief from my constant pain. The orthopaedic consultants won't deal with me because they can't see any need for surgery. I have been undergoing continious physiotherapy which is clearly not resolving my problem. I have undergone facet joint injections and epidurals which have had no effect. I wait months between each test and result and the scope of investigation seems ridiculously narrow. Specialists are only looking at the place where I feel pain rather than at the overall picture for problems. It seems that because I don't fit into their boxes they want to wash their hands of me. No one wants to take responsibility for finding answers and treating my problem. I have had to be signed off work for several months now because I am a fall risk and cannot travel safely on my own to work. I have been financially devastated. My GP treats me like an adict for needing pain medication and seems to pass moral judgement on my developing tolerance levels but my instructions for perscriptions come directly from the pain clinic I am working with and everything is above board. I cannot start the family that my partner and I want which is devastating for me. Every aspect of my life is being affected and slowly deteriorating and I can't seem to get any medical professional to care or help. The NHS is failing me!

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Skyecastle said on 24 January 2011

The care provided by the NSH lacks in professionalism and correct care for back injury treatment. However after many years of hearing peoples stories, I feel it lacks in all other areas as well. The delays in getting tests, the delays in treatments, all cause situations to worsen, then when they do finally 'try' something, it seems to fail a lot, because they waited too long. Personally, I had a bad fall and broke my right leg, they xrayed my left leg, and sent me home, had also ruptured several discs, but they 'werent mentioned'. Several friends have suffered and even died at the hands of NSH and their mismanagement of symptoms. I believe they put off treatments to save money, and to blazes with the common man or woman. Its a disgrace. When you put money over the needs of the people, something is terribly wrong. Its a clear picture of what they think of their 'subjects'.

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traceyhubble said on 08 January 2011

Hello.. about 12 yr ago i kept going 2 my doctors regarding terrible back pain. for 7 yr they kept pushing me away with painkillers which didnt work, but there again the back pain would ease off for short time, but everytime it come bk it was worse.. A ny way dec 05 my back went into spazams and it wouldnt go away,i was booked in for urgent scan. where they found the bottom disc was black 1 of them was sqaushing my nerves the 2 above was black too,i was told that all 3 would b dealt with. anyway 4 wks l8r i was admitted for opp, the afternoon after the opp the doctor come round to see how i was doing. my left leg was bouncing on the bed i had no control i had like burst of electric shocks in my left leg. I asked him why my leg was doing it, hes responce was nothing went wrong with the surgery. the problem i had was i didnt have this problem till i had surgery. i was discharged the morning after surgery i had no feeling down the outside of left leg every foot step i got a electric shock. ( which i still have 6 yrs l8r) anyway since then ive had nothing but problems ive been admitted over 30 times via hubbys car or by amblance because my body has gone into spazams,each time sent bk home. my doctor sent request for a new MRI scan, which has come bk that i have problems with all my lower bk disc and that i have a narrowing to the nerve that deals with the pelvis. im now writing this very up-set as ive been to the hospital to see consaltant today and hes told me nothing can be done he said my bk is wore out.. so now i have 2 take all these meds forever. im only 44. but my body feels 98. i would love 2 chat with people who have same problems.....

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haktoff said on 05 January 2011

fractured 7 vertabrae 3 of them are wedge fractures after accident at work ( 2.5 tonne steel grab) in a mernerva jacket for 12 months (24/7) too complicated to operate so 7 years on still in agony tried morphine no good- fentanyl no good and now have a pump which feeds ziconatide through a catheter directly to my spinal cord no good- haha what ever next ???????????????????????????

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Har01 said on 13 December 2010

Read this on chiropractic: http://www.ukskeptics.com/chiropractic.php

And this is an interesting article. http://saveyourself.ca/articles/structuralism.php

IMO, if you try an alternative therapist take what they say with quite a lot of salt. Don't listen to anyone who tells you you have to spend a lot of money. Or tells you that some minor structural deviation, that is so subtle noone can observe it (it doesn't exist), is causing your problem.

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stephers18 said on 05 December 2010

i have back problems eg i struggle to breathe everytime i lie down but what could it be?

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Vikram said on 05 December 2010

This link was lot better than the NHS page: http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Back-Pain.htm

As some of you have said, my biggest problem is to get an acknowledgement from nhs docs that I have a problem. Unless it is a chronic pain, apprantly they dont do anything other than suggesting to take rest/pain killers/wait.

GEt well soon all back pain sufferers (including me)

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merrymaiden said on 10 November 2010

I'd recommend going to a Chiropractor to anyone having trouble getting their problem recognised. Yes, you will have to pay out at first, but you can also pay for an x-ray (something I was never offered on the NHS) and as they are experts in everything to do with the spine, they may be able to tell you what is actually wrong with you. For me it was the first step in getting NHS recognition, although strictly the NHS don't recognise chiropractic as an effective treatment, BUT... I went for months to my Chiropractor, and spent a lot of money, but it was worth it in the end. I also changed my doctor. My original doctor told me (about 5 years ago now - I was 30) I didn't have arthritis and it wasn't hereditary. My new doctor referred me for an MRI scan and physio, as I'd spent about £700 on chiropractic and this is not the action of someone who's not in pain. Turns out I have exactly same problem as my father (who started in his 20s) and genetics ARE supposed to be a factor. I've finally discovered what is wrong about a month ago so it's taken 5 years of pain. I wish I'd seen a chiropractor sooner, as mine knew exactly which discs were bulging etc etc and quoting her expertise in the spine to my new doctor, I feel, helped a lot. I also took my father along to my first appointment so the doctor could see the state he is in and appreciate my concerns. It's early days yet, I'm just being monitored as I've only just had my MRI report, but a huge psychological hurdle for me was actually getting recognition of the problems I was having and being listened to. Good luck to you all, I hope you all get the recognition and sympathetic ear that you deserve.

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kentgirl28 said on 11 October 2010

i first hurt my back in january 2007 and was advised it was muscle strain, 10 months later and numerous doctor visits i was given an MRI which showed a severly prolapsed disc. 3 months later i was seeing a specialist and being referred for surgery. My doctor was astounded that i had been walking around and living with such a severe problem for a year, also its unheard of for young females to suffer this problem.. 2 weeks later i was in hospital undergoing a microdiscectomy. within days i could again feel my toes, it was brilliant. I was advised it was highly unlikely i would ever have the problem again. August 2009 my disc(the same one, well the remainder of it ) prolapsed again and i could not even get out of bed, 2 weeks i had to lie down and the only time i could move was when the pain relief had kicked in. I had a epidural steroid injection in March and again i am now waiting for a referral to see another specialist as my back is still not right. I suffer with daily headaches and spasms in my back that stop me dead in my tracks when walking. I have other symptoms too
I guess its true what they say, once a bad back, always a bad back.
after being told i would be fine and never suffer again, i fear that this will just be something i put up with for the rest of my life

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claymorejohn said on 20 September 2010

hello folks, yes i know what back pain is all about, i have broke mine twice, 1st fell off a roof onto a plough, 2nd time off back of my lorry with 112lbs of seed potatoes on my chest, sidestepped to avoid another worker and landed on a small stone, ive also had a triple by-pass that failed within 3 months, now its left me with M. E, ostio arthritis, fibro mialga, angina (worse than it was) ostioporosis in lower back and am diabetic, some other things i can't pronounce, the constant pain never goes, they say you get used to it but you don't, almost all my joints are getting affected, i have both ankle braces, 1 knee brace, both wrist braces thats just to get about and still get made fun of, i try walks using ski sticks and admit they do help, now my neck, shoulders and most of my spine hurts, i have a back brace too, but it is steel covered with leather straps but gives me no support where its needed, the headaches i get are unbelievable so i'm going to try for a neck shoulder brace with a head rest, my head feels as if its too heavy for my neck to hold up, i know is't brass but its gettin awfy thin and weak, but at least i'll get 40 winks when out for a walk,i'll get more ribbing as i get older, if i reach another birthday, but what the heck, if you don't laugh i reckon we cry.as a matter of fact the cryin bit is never too far away either, like the other ladies in this i miss hill walking like i used to, going out shooting with my pal, i was a workaholic now i'm down to a quivvering bored wreck, i wish there was a cure, a switch to put it away for 10 mins now and then would help, and its amazing how many people do NOT believe you, but i see where they are coming from, there are so many "AT IT" out there it really does screw it up for the genuine thing, hey hoe another moan off the chest, maybe make it lighter, lol.

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Pinkpalomino said on 02 August 2010

I broke my tailbone around 1999. I had no real problems until about 2005. Since then the pain has gotten progressively worse and has expanded to include my hips. I've been seeking relief for a time now and so far have been diagnosed with non-specific chronic lower back pain. They say this may last forever or end tomorrow. I don't see it ending soon but wow, wouldn't that be great? I suspect that since no mri was done, they are just guessing and giving a broad diagnoses. I'm very unhappy with it but it seems this is it.
I'm sick to death of the constant pain. I lie to my husband all the time about my pain. I say it's a good day but it never is. I try to hide how bad it is on bad days but usually get found out. I hate what this has done to me. I led a very physical life for many years. Race horses, training horses, biking etc. I'm only 44 and feel like I'm 80 some days. I take prozac to combat depression and I think if it weren't for that and the loving support of my husband I'd plunge into a serious depression.
Getting a job has been a nightmare. I had a job I dearly loved and was doing very well at for about 4 months this year and was sacked for taking 2 days off for back pain. Now it is harder than ever to get a job.
Argh. I'm so frustrated.

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Antonio Brazen Dale said on 11 June 2010

I must agree, there is nothing worse than Back pain and it can be so disabling. Even this morning just getting out the car my back went and I ended up on the floor having to be helped up by strangers.

If only you could get warnings. I so dream of this.

What is nearly as bad as the pain is the un-supportive nature of friends and colleagues.

The nickname "Glassback" starts off as fun but doesn't ease the pain.

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aussietango said on 12 May 2010

NICE Guidlines of May 2009 recommended the inclusion of Chiropractic Care as a choice for those suffering with Back Pain. So far within BEN this has not happened. Commisioning side-step / avoid / put-off addressing this. Chiropractic services are offered in other PCT's. This is becoming a lottery - we the under priveledged living under BEN are the losers. This situation needs to change.

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mope said on 04 May 2010

There is a gently but incredibly effective therapy for back pain. It originated in Australia, but there are now many practitioners throught the UK.

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amanda 81 said on 19 April 2010

i fractured my T#12 in feb 09 n have never got better, i am now on really strong painkillers indefinatly.i also have 2 use my crutchie every day 4 balance aswell. i have recently been bk in hospital because ov this. they found more damage in my disc's n nerves. i am only 29 n hoping that the doctors find something else 2 help me cause the pain can be inbareable some days

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Lorraine D said on 22 March 2010

I have suffered with back pain on and off for years and have found the best treatment has been through a Osteopath and Acupuncturist. I have nothing against traditional medicine as I suffer with severe osteoarthritis in my knees and am on long term pain killers for this condition but it never hurts to explore other treatments and if you find a great osteopath as I have you will only be treated for as long as necessary to relieve the pain

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jarmila said on 04 February 2010

I suffer lower back pain 1 year almost. As I do a lot of heavy lifting at work I didnt pay much attention. 2 months ago it something blocked in my back and for 2 days I could hardluymove my right leg and right arm. I had very intensive pain along my whole leg and my whole arm. After 2 daysit wasnt so bad, but I feel that pain all the time. It is no so intensive, but it is. 2 weeks ago I started to have shooting pain in my wrists, knees, ankles and fingers and around these areas. I have spasms in my hand and leg sometimes. I have also neck pain and headache which is not very stong but it is constant almost.
I had an appointment with my GP today. I spent in his "office" around 4 minutes. After 4 minutes of typing to PC he said it is muscle pain and he recommend me to take pain killers.
As a child and teenager I practiced a lot of sport so I really know how muscles hurt. This is far away from that.
I am very dissapointed with treatment which I get from my GP. I am in this country almost 2 years, and I registered to GP only 2 weeks ago because the pain is really strong sometimes.
I work here since second day I come to this country and I pay my tax so I supose I should get the same treatment as everyone who was born in this country.
I am not happy with doctors recomendations to take more pain killers. It doesnt help. I dont know what to do next.
If you have any advice I appriciate that. Or any opinion, positive or negative. Thanks

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jarmila said on 04 February 2010

I suffer lower back pain almost 1 year. 2 months ago something blocked in my back, and I couldnt move my right leg and arm for 2 days properly. I could feel in my right leg and arm itching and strange pain. Last 2 weeks I have constant pain in my ankles, wrists, knees and fingers. And i suffer by shootin pain around all these joints. Today I had an appointment with the doctor. I live here in England for 2 years and this was my first appointment. Doctor was very kind, our meeting took aproximately 4 minutes and he said it is only musle pain and I should take more pain killers.
I am exhausted by this pain. I dont know what to do next. Pain killers helped only for a while but now they dont help at all.
I do a lot of lifting at my work and as a child and teenager I did a lot of sport so I know really how muscles hurt.
I am VERY dissapointed with my GP treatment. I work here, I pay my tax, and I deserve treatment as anybody else who was born in this country, and I suppose I didn get that kind of treatment.
I am fed up of eating pain killer. My constat pain has some kind of reason, and I wanted to see my doctor for trying him to find out what it is.

By the way I am from Slovakia.
Thanks for your opinion(positive or negative) and advice.

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jarmila said on 04 February 2010

I suffer lower back pain almost 1 year. 2 months ago something blocked in my back, and I couldnt move my right leg and arm for 2 days properly. I could feel in my right leg and arm itching and strange pain. Last 2 weeks I have constant pain in my ankles, wrists, knees and fingers. And i suffer by shootin pain around all these joints. Today I had an appointment with the doctor. I live here in England for 2 years and this was my first appointment. Doctor was very kind, our meeting took aproximately 4 minutes and he said it is only musle pain and I should take more pain killers.
I am exhausted by this pain. I dont know what to do next. Pain killers helped only for a while but now they dont help at all.
I do a lot of lifting at my work and as a child and teenager I did a lot of sport so I know really how muscles hurt.
I am VERY dissapointed with my GP treatment. I work here, I pay my tax, and I deserve treatment as anybody else who was born in this country, and I suppose I didn get that kind of treatment.
I am fed up of eating pain killer. My constat pain has some kind of reason, and I wanted to see my doctor for trying him to find out what it is.

By the way I am from Slovakia.
Thanks for your opinion(positive or negative) and advice.

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Maria Kh said on 01 February 2010

I had lower back pain on the left side.

The MRI report mentioned sacralization of the L5 as the cause.

Also, the doctor told me that development of a transition vertebrae between L5 and sacrum is the cause.

Would anybody please throw light on how sacralization causes the pain; I mean the mechanism of the pain.

I tried understanding through many websites but couldn't get it cleared.

Thanks.

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Jan46 said on 27 October 2009

I have suffered lower back pain for many years then earlier this year under my new GP I finally received the correct diagnosis - Degenerative Disc Disease. The bottom 2 discs have shrunk hence the reason for it becoming more painful over the past few years, I have been prescribed pain killers eventually surgery which really frightens me, I am a single parent of an eight year old & find it very frustrating that I cannot do the things I should be doing with him due to the constant pain. My GP has stated that I have not to do anything that will cause stress on my lower back which is a multitude of things down to carrying shopping due to this every day life/work is becoming a struggle however I just grit my teeth & get on with it the best I can. I have searched various sites re this condition re what other treatment would help ease the pain as I not a fan of taking medication on a daily basis however I am unsure which applies to me as there are varying degrees of this condition, I would be grateful of any advice someone with this condition can give me.

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geelamch said on 21 October 2009

i would be interested in any comments on the condition affecting the c2 and c3 discs in the neck area .I had sugery due to a compression in this area around two years ago ,however after initial success it has returned with a vengeance.I cannot afford to take another year from work and would be grateful to hear if any one else has this condition.
i was being treated pre surgery with large doses of morphine however this merely renders you (stupified)
and results in no life quality.
My main symptom is the loss of use of my right arm and subsequent pain ,at 44yrs old with a family and due to my employment i do not know how much longer i can continue .I would love any advice.
geelamch

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Charles Tully said on 18 October 2009

I suffered whiplash injuries affecting my neck and lower back and nothing I did in three years helped so I consulted an osteopath who said it was my terrible posture knocked loose by the accident. After clicking things free she started me on Alexander Technique lessons to improve my alignment and to reduce the amount of tension I held which had made things worse. Within a couple of months the pain was history and normal activities resumed.
I don't think people realise the far reaching affects seemingly simple injuries can have and the sooner they are sorted the better.

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MarcusMaher said on 13 October 2009

I found sections of these articles very interesting and relevant, thanks.

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Ireena said on 03 September 2009

Exercises helps to manage osteoarthritis pain. Exercises are helpful for decrease low back pain, recover faster, prevent re injury to back, and reduce the risk of disability from back pain.
Take your doctor's advice before attempting any exercises, if you are already experiencing back pain.
There is no need of any special equipment for doing exercises to reduce low back pain.and it is also not complicated.
Strong abdominal muscles are helpful in maintaining good posture and keep spine in right position .Exercises stretches and strengthen the muscles of abdomen and spine which prevents back problem.
Lie flat on back. bring your chin to chest, at the same time Hug knees to chest and ,do it for two times for 15 seconds.
By lying on stomach, use your arms to push your upper body off the floor, let your back relax and sag. hold for five seconds.do for 5 times.
Do walking, swimming,bicycling for 20 to 30 minutes in a week for alternate days.
Prone hip extension exercise is done by lying on stomach.with your legs straight out behind you. first tighten up your buttock muscles and then lift one leg off the floor about 5-7 inches.for 4-5 seconds keep your knee straight.then lower your leg and relax.do it for 3 times with another leg.
Avoid such types of exercises like twisting hip,any quick and bouncy movement, lying on stomach with legs extended and lifting together.
Do good activities like swimming,biking,walking,aerobics exercise on machines.

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Wilk67 said on 22 August 2009

My 12 year old daughter has been suffering with back pain since January. It's now the end of August - when will she get a diagnosis and treatment? It appears the NHS is not interested in back pain in children - I don't believe prescibing Iboprufen for six weeks is an adequate treatment for a child especially when it doesn't work.

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User309562 said on 14 August 2009

MLH22 mad me laugh:-))). You're really right about it. And you have well described upper back pain. I'm experiencing the same for a while. It's complicated. Would be great to have this info here. Thanking you in advance.

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MLH22 said on 28 May 2009

How about upper back pain? I have hardly ever seen any video or information on pain in the upper back. Has it got a different term? It certainly is not related to spine as such. The one that is due to weakness or muscles or nerves around the area starting from neck through shoulders down to where the rib ends. It would be nice to know how to keep that part healthier and not sprain it every now and then. thanks,

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