FAQ's about back pain

Back pain won't cripple you and too much surgery is bad for you - these are questions we get asked

My back pain is excruciating. Is it cancer?

Even severe back pain is not usually due to cancer. 
The back pain of cancer usually develops progressively, is worse at night, and there is usually a history of cancer elsewhere.

My back pain is severe. Should I call an ambulance?

Unless you can’t move or can’t urinate you probably don’t need to go to hospital. 

Talk to your GP first.

Even with medication my back still hurts. Is there something stronger I can take?

Even morphine may not relieve bad back pain. 
Antispasm drugs like Norflex, Valium or Baclofen can help.
Try ice or a hot pack. Most back pain, even severe, will settle.

My back pain is severe. Will I end up in a wheelchair?

Very few patients with back pain end up in a wheelchair. 
This is usually due to too many operations.

There is a strong history of back pain in my family. Can I prevent my getting it?

While back pain has some genetic influences learned responses to pain are also important. 
Exercise, weight loss and a positive attitude are important.

My grandmother is stooped and crippled with arthritis and osteoporosis. Will I get it?

Osteoporosis can be prevented. A bone density assessment and treatment should be considered.