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‘80% people will experience severe back pain once in life’

SAMAA | - Posted: Feb 20, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Feb 20, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
‘80% people will experience severe back pain once in life’

Photo: AFP

A pain specialist says 80% of the general population will experience severe back pain once in their lives. This pain would be so debilitating that they would be unable to go to work or carry out daily activities.

Dr Agha Sajjad was referring to a popular research paper by Mayo Clinic doctor Rubin Devon.

He added that 5% of these people will go on to experience chronic back pain and sciatica. “They will have to get injections or surgeries to treat the pain,” Dr Sajjad said on SAMAA TV’s programme Naya Din on Thursday.

This pain can make people miss work, be irregular and risk losing their jobs. It has been described to be so intense that some people have killed themselves to get rid of it, he added.

However, people with back pain often take it lightly by taking painkillers and not visiting a doctor until it becomes unbearable, said the pain specialist.

It’s not necessary that this pain starts in old age either.

“My youngest patient with sciatica is a 14-year-old,” said Dr Sajjad. He was given injections three years ago and is now pain free.

Dr Sajjad said he and other experts put up free camps to diagnose and counsel people with back and muscle pain.  

One such camp will be held on Sunday at the Metroline Hospital in the Metroville area. An orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Kashif Khan, who is also an associate professor at Jinnah will attend the camp.

He will check patients with joint and shoulder problems, while Dr Sajjad will give guidelines to those with back pain and sciatica. Ten minutes of free physiotherapy will also be provided.

Right now, the team is conducting camps in Karachi and Hyderabad, but they plan to expand to other cities, Dr Sajjad said.

“If you want free camps in your area or hospital comment on SAMAA’s page and let us know,” he said.

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