Do-it-yourself internet research for back pain

If you want, you can find out the status of your back pain completely independently. This can be done on an internet site and is done on the basis of a series of questions. At the end of the examination, a diagnosis is given with advice on what to do next. The questions relate to sleeping, performing all kinds of activities, exercising and carrying out heavier jobs such as heavy lifting. However, often the diagnosis will come down to the advice to consult a doctor, but then the answers to the questions can help provide information to the GP.

Origin of back pain and other complaints

The first question is about how the back pain arose, whether this happened gradually or as a result of an accident or within one or a few days. In the second question you enter how long the complaints have existed, with options ranging from less than three days to more than five years and various degrees of days, weeks, months and years in between. At the beginning of the examination, you will also be asked questions about your body, such as height and weight, whether photos have ever been taken of the back and whether there are any complaints regarding a bladder infection, abdominal pain, stomach pain, gallbladder, gallstones, liver, etc. chest pain or shortness of breath.

Back pain, movement, right place and back deviation

Within the study it is also necessary to indicate the relationship between back pain and exercise or inactivity. For example, does the pain only occur when sitting or standing in the same position for a long time? Or is it worst when moving? The question is also asked whether the pain is persistent and whether it worsens when force is exerted such as coughing or sneezing. Furthermore, sample pictures should be used to indicate where the pain is located, which requires the help of someone who can check whether your back is straight or has a curve to the left or right. It must also be determined whether the pelvic line is horizontal or deviates diagonally to the left or right.

Do you feel good about yourself?

It is known that psychological problems can influence back pain, which is why a number of questions are asked in that area, such as asking whether you have problems in the relationship, family or at work. Are you experiencing feelings of sadness or difficulty falling asleep and waking up often, partly as a result of stress? These questions are aimed at checking whether you have been feeling good lately.

Perform some actions yourself and see the results

During the course of the investigation you will be asked to perform a number of actions and to indicate the results based on a number of options. The actions consist of bending forward and standing upright again and then bending back and standing upright again. The options that must be indicated relate to any pain and where exactly it is located. It is also asked whether the tips of the fingers touch the ground when bending forward or whether the hand can be placed flat on the ground.

Graded questions

At the end of the survey, a schedule will appear with twenty questions that must be assigned value points. Enter the number 0 if the requested action requires no effort and 5 if it cannot be performed. The intermediate figures represent successively: little difficulty, some difficulty, a lot of difficulty and very much difficulty.
The questions are about the actions:

  1. Getting out of bed.
  2. Sleeping through the night.
  3. Turning over in bed.
  4. Driving a car.
  5. Stand for a while (20 – 30 minutes).
  6. Sitting in a chair for several hours.
  7. Climbing a flight of stairs.
  8. A short walk (300-400 meters)
  9. Walk a few kilometers.
  10. Reaching for a high shelf.
  11. Throw a ball.
  12. A short run (100 meters).
  13. Grab something from the refrigerator.
  14. Making a bed.
  15. Put on socks or tights.
  16. Bending over to clean something.
  17. Moving a chair.
  18. Open a heavy door by pulling or pushing.
  19. Carrying two bags of groceries.
  20. Lifting a heavy suitcase.


To a doctor

In most cases, the final diagnosis will result from the advice to visit a GP. In any case, answering the questions can be a good way to increase the awareness of back pain, allowing comprehensive and clear information to be provided to the GP.

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