Back pain is a common problem that affects most people at some point in their life.
It may be triggered by bad posture while sitting or standing, bending awkwardly, or lifting incorrectly. It’s not generally caused by a serious condition. Find Out More About: Causes of Back Pain.
In most cases back pain will improve in a few weeks or months, although some people experience long-term pain or pain that keeps coming back.
Backache is most common in the lower back (lumbago), although it can be felt anywhere along your spine, from your neck down to your hips. Read Information on: neck pain and shoulder pain , which are covered separately.
Sometimes back pain can be caused by an injury or disease, such as:
The rest of this information will focus on back pain that doesn’t have an obvious cause. Doctors call this non-specific back pain.
Most cases of back pain get better on their own and you may not need to see a doctor.
If you’ve only had back pain for a few days or weeks, the following advice may help relieve your symptoms and speed up your recovery:
Although it can be difficult to be cheerful or optimistic if you are in pain, it’s important to stay positive as this can help you recover faster Read More About: Treatments For Short-Term Back Pain.
If you’re worried about your back or your pain hasn’t improved by around six weeks, it’s a good idea to visit your GP, who can advise you about the treatments available.
Some people choose to see a therapist for manual therapy or acupuncture without seeing their GP first. If you want to do this, you will usually need to pay for private treatment, which is likely to cost around £30-50 for each appointment.
Spinal surgery is usually only recommended when all else has failed. Read More About: Treating Long-Term Back Pain.
How you sit, stand, lie and lift can all affect the health of your back. Try to avoid placing too much pressure on your back and ensure it’s strong and supple.
Regular exercise, such as walking and swimming, is an excellent way of preventing back pain. Activities such as yoga or pilates can improve your flexibility and strengthen your back muscles. Read More About: Preventing Back Pain.
You should seek urgent medical help if you have back pain and:
These problems could be a sign of something more serious and need to be assessed as soon as possible. Read More About: How Back Pain is Diagnosed.
Source: NHS UK