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Chronic Backache

Q: I am 30 years old. I suffer from back pain in the middle of my back. It has been there for the last 8-10 years. It starts when I bend forward or pick up weight. The consequence is that I feel as if that spot (centre of back) is a centre from where as if wires have been pulled from all sides. I feel pull and sort of pain in sides of back, shoulders, neck and sometimes when pain is more severe it spreads upto top of back-skull and bottom end of the vertebrae. On all such occasions, this pain spreads correspondingly to centre of the front (abdomen area/stomach area). All along the years, I have frequented doctors- orthopaedic surgeons and others. They all conducted X-rays and other tests and said everything is ok in the back. Only once in 1998, Pathologist had concluded muscular spasm. They give me a sort of wry smile, just some vitamin pills and never a satisfactory reply/diagnosis. Last year when I was too upset I again went to doctor. Again he smiled and when I insisted on problem in stomach/abdomen area, he advised ultra-sound. The report said my pancreas/liver were irretrievably enlarged. But doctor said not to worry. When I queried whether it could affect my life after my marriage he assured me and he also gave me multivitamins. I went to another doctor who got me to undergo SCAN for liver/pancreas and then reassured that nothing was serious. When I again reiterated my back and front problem he said it was due to my uric acid problem that I have been suffering for last 3-4 years (without medicine the level is always near or above maximum). However, I was not satisfied as I know that uric acid cannot cause this extent of pain. Then I went to another doctor last week and he was very cooperative. He examined me and has taught me 2 exercises (one is to lie face down and raise upper body and other to raise my legs one by one facedown -- all to be done twice) and asked me to report after a week. I frankly asked him that I am engaged now and to be married and this problem is causing me phobia. To this, to my surprise, he said that sexual intercourse after marriage will be helpful in solving my problem. After all these years of confusion and persisting pain I am all confused. Please advise me in this regard and whether the last doctor is right. I may also add that I used to suffer from myalgia and certain other muscular pains from 1991-2001, which have been now eradicated (I used to take hot water baths even in summers and could not stand cold air at all in those days). And this back/front pain in the centre of the torso is the only nightmare I still have to endure.

A:Chronic Back ache is difficult to manage. As the pain has been persistant for 10 years with no progress or evidence of any anomaly in the investigations, it is to be concluded that it is due to Muscular / ligamentous in origin. Recent spiral CT of spine (Dorsal) should exclude any bony or Neural origin of pain. For this type of Chronic backache, yoga exercises for the back will give relief - the set of exercises are called spinal extension exercises.

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