In today’s society, much like the common cold or fever, lower back pain is a common ailment. Almost 80% of the global population suffers from spinal cord related problems at one point in their lives. In an attempt to extend relief to such patients, Hemas Hospital Wattala has embarked on an out-of-the-box approach to offer diagnosis, consultation, surgery and constant physical therapy. The hospital conducts this clinic through Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., under the supervision of senior Registrar in Orthopaedics, Dr. Anton Waranakulasooriya.
There are numerous possible causes of lower back pain including muscles, soft connective tissues, ligaments, joint capsules and cartilage, and blood vessels. These tissues may be pulled, strained, stretched or sprained. Additionally, annular tears (small tears that occur in the outer layer of the intervertebral disc), vertebral fractures, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine space around the spinal cord can put pressure on nerves), genetic conditions, arthritis, infections and tumours can also cause lower back pain.
While physicians are not in favour of quick diagnosis and treatment of lower back pain, certain instances require that patients seek immediate medical help. Elaborating this point, Dr. Waranakulasooriya comments, if a person’s symptoms include numbness in back thighs, uncontrollable urinal and faeces elimination/discharge along with back pain, that person should consult a physician immediately. Apart from this, those who suffer from back pain need to seek immediate attention in instances such as if they have been diagnosed with cancer, if they are under the age of 15 years or over the age of 55 years, if they have been taking steroids over a long period time or if they experience back pain following an accident.
The general public is aware of the slipped disc condition which causes back pain amongst four percent of the population. This occurs when one of the discs that sit between the bones of the spine (the vertebrae) is damaged and presses on the nerves. Such cases can be diagnosed by examining the patient or through a MRI scan. Dr. Waranakulasooriya says that they determine whether the patient needs surgery or not based on the nature of the slipped disc and its effect on the nerves.
In case of back pain, the patient undergoes a medical examination first and the results of the examination determine the next course of action whether it is a MRI scan, X-ray examination or a CT scan, usually along with a blood test. In most cases, back pain can be treated with physiotherapy, exercises and correct postures.
In order to prevent recurring back pain, it is imperative that patients adopt correct postures at all times. The given diagram provides precise instruction on sleeping and sitting postures as well as the correct way to lift weights in order to reduce back pain.
Dr. Waranakulasooriya says, “The back pain clinic conducted by Hemas Hospital Wattala possesses all facilities, tools and the right environment to treat all related issues. The hospital also provides in depth knowledge about spinal cord related issues to all patients.”
Hemas Hospitals since its inception has established trust among millions of health conscious Sri Lankans and continues to be committed to high quality healthcare. The hospitals based in the suburbs of Colombo and in Galle town, have the infra-structure, capacity and capability to attend to the most advanced medical care which greatly benefits the resident population of the area.