Have you ever felt the urge to stretch and twist your back after a long ride in a bus or in economy class on a plane? How about when you finally get up from your desk at the end of a long day at work? For most people, this discomfort, or sometimes even pain, comes and goes. Others battle with these back problems constantly for weeks or even months on end.
Millions of people around the world suffer from back pain. Some sources even claim that it is one of the most common reasons why people miss work or go to the doctor, and that it is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Despite this being such a highly prevalent problem, many people are still unclear about the causes of back pain and the treatment options available to them.
Dr. Vladimir Shchukin, a general and laparoscopy surgeon and a sport injury consultant shared his knowledge and expertise on back pain on the K24 program, K24 Alfajiri.
Whether a person’s back pain or discomfort is temporary or chronic, Dr. Shchukin explained that the root cause of back pain is the misalignment of the bones or vertebrae that form the spinal column. When the bones shift from their proper position, back pain results and it can be severe enough to result in immobility. When there is misalignment of the vertebrae, that misalignment puts pressure on the nerves coming out from the spinal canal, and that causes the pain that so many people suffer from.
In his years of treating patients with back pain, Dr. Shchukin has found that the most widespread cause is back pain related to trauma following accidents. Other reasons are the aging process, gynecological factors such as pregnancy, diseases such as arthritis and being overweight.
One of Dr. Shchukin’s patients was severely overweight and had terrible back pain. This combination resulted in the patient having to use a wheelchair for mobility. For this patient to get effective and lasting treatment for the back pain, Dr. Shchukin’s strategy was to first, help the patient lose the excess weight. This can be done using either surgical or non-surgical methods depending on the patient’s BMI. After sufficient weight loss, back pain was then treated effectively.
Dr. Shchukin stated that, although it is quite a common complaint, back pain is highly individual, it depends on the condition of the patient. “I do have different types of patients” he said “young people and elderly people, overweight people and people with normal weight”. So, when it comes to treatment, one size does not fit all.
“We are doing medical, non-surgical treatment to reduce the inflammation and pain in the nerves, and after that, using the chiropractic manipulation to set up the spine so that it is aligned. After that, we advise patients on what type of exercises to do to maintain that alignment.”
If you experience back pain, it’s almost certain that you’ve asked this question: Can you cure back pain? Dr. Shchukin responded to this by saying, “ I cannot say that it is completely curable; like if you have appendicitis and you just remove the appendix and it’s not there anymore. But [after treatment] you can really go on with your life which will be of a much higher quality than it was before”.