My Back Is Killing Me is part of a new campaign about back pain awareness from the nonprofit patient community CreakyJoints. The videos in this campaign were produced with support from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
To take our quiz about back pain and watch more videos, visit creakyjoints.org/backpain.
In My Back Is Killing Me the police officer and detective are actors, but the “victims” are actual patients with chronic pain and the rheumatologist, Fardina Malik, MD, is a practicing physician at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. Watch more of Hannah’s, Jed’s, and Roz’s patient stories in our companion series My Backstory. Watch more of Dr. Malik here.
Officer Gil and Detective Anders are on a special Joint Task Force, which solves tough-to-crack medical mysteries. In the first episode of this “fictionalized” web series, the Joint Task Force encounters a particularly mysterious case: a young woman living with debilitating back pain for years — and she just can’t figure out what’s wrong.
Kicking off the episode, Detective Anders asks Officer Gil a seemingly simple question: “Whatta we got?”
Unfortunately, the answer is anything but.
“The victim is a young woman, 30 years of age. She’s been living with chronic pain since her late teens. Has back and hip pain that sometimes comes and goes, gets so bad it wakes her up at night in agony,” says Officer Gil. “She feels stiff first thing in the morning and often complains about a ‘brain fog’ — whatever that is. And then this morning — out of nowhere — comes a vicious, unexplained attack.”
The pair agrees that while, clearly, the victim’s back is killing her, they need to dig deeper to figure out why.
“Eighty percent of adults have some lower back pain in their lives. The question is what’s wrong with this back and why the endless attacks?” ponders Detective Anders.
“Something’s aggravating this woman’s spine and we gotta figure out what it is so she can deal with it. Otherwise, it’s just a matter of time before her back strikes again.”
After poring over the victim’s file, Detective Anders realizes just how difficult cracking this case will be. “She’s seen dozens of docs and no one’s had a good explanation,” she says.
The Joint Task Force decides they need to start by interviewing the victim about her back pain symptoms.
Watch what happens next in episode 2 of My Back Is Killing Me.
For more information about cracking your own back pain attack, go to creakyjoints.org/backpain.