BMI Healthcare’s Mr Matthew Newton Ede on How to Manage Back Pain


We all put stresses and strains on our back
which can cause pain that can wax and wane as we go through our normal lives. In particular as we enter middle age, we can
develop conditions that cause degeneration. We can develop arthritis in the lower part
of our spine, just like any other joint in the body. Disc wear and tear can cause pressure on the
nerves at the bottom of the spine and this can cause leg pain. Conditions such as sciatica and lumbar stenosis
can be more problematic than simple low back pain. The symptoms can be more intrusive and pain
can stay for longer. Most people won’t need anything surgically
doing with their back at all. What they do need to do is look after their
back in a number of ways which we can all do throughout our day to day lives. It’s important to maintain a good level
of physical fitness – regular running, swimming, cycling, working hard on what’s known as
core strength and stability and flexibility, utilising things like yoga or pilates, keeping weight
in a health range, and remaining a non-smoker. If there are any symptoms of night pain, weight
loss, or difficulties with the bladder and bowel, these can be signs of something
more serious going on. If any of these symptoms are present, patients
should see their doctor without delay. More commonly, however, further treatment
is required because the symptoms are becoming intrusive and patients aren’t able to manage
the symptoms on their own. In particular, if there’s pain going down
the legs that isn’t settling down with simple painkillers or general exercise advice,
this might be a time when a spinal surgeon or physiotherapist might be able to
provide more targeted therapy.

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