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Back (Lumbar) Pain


Back pain is the most common cause of musculoskeletal disability worldwide. Approximately 40% of adults experience back pain annually. While most cases of acute back and neck pains resolve naturally, it is advisable to see a specialist if symptoms, particularly the following, persist after 6 weeks or more:

  • Sciatica/pain travelling to their limbs (radiculopathy)
  • Associated numbness, weakness or paraesthesia (tingling sensation in the limbs)
  • Symptoms suggestive of spinal cord compression such as loss of stability when walking and clumsiness or loss of function in the hands

Patients with back pain associated with trauma, rest and sleep-depriving fever, loss of weight, appetite and bowel or bladder control (incontinence) should seek immediate medical attention. 


Spinal surgeons can provide comprehensive consultations and physical examinations, including : 

  • Conventional X-rays;
  • EOS Imaging: a low radiation form of weight-bearing x-ray used to study the overall body and spinal alignment;
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan: a non-invasive procedure using X-rays to produce the spine's three-dimensional image for studying the vertebral anatomy in planning surgeries and diagnosing; and
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields and radio-frequency waves to create spinal images, allowing surgeons to study the vertebrae, disc, spinal cord and nerves in detail.

Non-surgical management of back pain can include

  • Medications
  • Physiotherapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Braces/Orthoses

Most patients with spinal conditions can be treated non-surgically. Physical therapy, lifestyle modification, medication, acupuncture and spinal injections may be recommended prior to surgery. Surgery will be recommended only after these measures have failed, if there is further progression of symptoms or if the patient’s condition is not suited for non-surgical treatment.

The goals of surgical treatment are to relieve symptoms, correct spinal deformities and to stabilise the spine. The use of minimally invasive techniques and endoscopic surgery has led to a reduction in post-operative pain, duration of hospital stay and earlier return to daily activities. Motion preserving procedures such as disc replacements or in the cervical and lumbar spine are also performed in our institution, to allow continued motion in our patients. State of the art technology such as operative microscopes, intraoperative neuromonitoring and intraoperative imaging/navigation systems such as the O-arm has also led to an improvement in patient safety.

Contact Information

Should you have any enquiry or wish to arrange for a consultation, please contact us at:

University Spine Centre
Contact: +65 6908 2222
[email protected]
[email protected]

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