Back pain can be unbearable, but it can also be helped. Whether your back pain is mild or severe, you have options to try in order to find a solution. Mr Jonathan Bull, a leading consultant neurosurgeon, clarifies the non-surgical and surgical steps that can be taken to reduce your back pain.
How common is back pain?
Back pain is quite common and the majority of people will have it in their lifetime. It’s suggested that evolution has resulted in different stresses on the human skeleton.
Changes to everyday living and work life, such as the use of computers (particularly laptops) and sitting hunched over, has potentially worsened the usual stresses put on the skeleton. Typically, back pain is self-limiting and intermittent; it may last weeks but occasionally months.
How is back pain treated?
Typically, back pain is best managed with lifestyle adjustments and simple medical interventions. If these don’t work and the pain is severe, surgery is often the next consideration to find a solution.
If the pain is uncontrollable or associated with weakness, then getting checked at a hospital is advisable. Usually, physiotherapy and exercise involving stretching (like Pilates and yoga) can help. If they are unsuccessful, epidural and facet joint injections can provide relief.
If non-surgical methods are unsuccessful at reducing pain or weakness, surgery can be considered. Persistent weakness is best treated with microsurgical decompression and this usually involves a 24-48-hour hospital stay. Occasionally, more resistant pain might require decompression and fixation or fusion when other options are exhausted.
Mr Jonathan Bull has trained extensively to treat a variety of neurological conditions, including back pain. Discover how he can help you and arrange a consultation by visiting his profile.