Back pain is very common and normally improves within a few weeks or months.
Pain in the lower back (lumbago) is particularly common, although it can be felt anywhere along the spine – from the neck down to the hips.
In most cases the pain isn’t caused by anything serious and will usually get better over time.
There are things you can do to help relieve it. But sometimes the pain can last a long time or keep coming back.
How to relieve back pain
The following tips may help reduce your backache and speed up your recovery:
•stay as active as possible and try to continue your daily activities – this is one of the most important things you can do, as resting for long periods is likely to make the pain worse
•try exercises and stretches for back pain; other activities such as walking, swimming, yoga and pilates may also be helpful
•take anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen – remember to check the medicine is safe for you to take first and ask a pharmacist if you’re not sure
•use hot or cold compression packs for short-term relief – you can buy these from your local pharmacy, or a hot water bottle and a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth will work just as well
Although it can be difficult, it helps if you stay optimistic and recognise that your pain should get better, as people who manage to stay positive despite their pain tend to recover quicker.
Getting help and advice
Back pain usually gets better on its own within a few weeks or months and you may not need to see a doctor or other healthcare professional.
But it’s a good idea to get help if:
•the pain doesn’t start to improve within a few weeks
•the pain stops you doing your day-to-day activities
•the pain is very severe or gets worse over time
•you’re worried about the pain or are struggling to cope
You can see your GP, who will ask about your symptoms, examine your back, and discuss possible treatments. They may refer you to a specialist doctor or a physiotherapist for further help.
Alternatively, you may want to consider approaching a physiotherapist directly. Some NHS physiotherapists accept appointments without a doctor’s referral, or you could choose to pay for private treatment.
Link for patient advice on back pain – Also see Sound Doctor in the Self Care and Information section for a link to a Back Pain Course
First Contact Physio – Patients also have access to a First Contact Physio via the CHEA service, located at Penrith. This service is for patients presenting with acute soft tissue issues, Arthritis pain, possible problems with muscles, ligament, Spinal Pain. These appointments can be booked via the Medical Practice. Patient Information leaflet – First Contact Practitioner Service – patient leaflet. Patient frequently asked leaflet attached – First Contact Physio Leaflet.
ink to the selfcareforum.org website information on Back Pain (printable) http://dev.selfcareforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/170509-SCF-Fact-Sheet-No-1-Back-Pain-v101.pdf
Further useful information and links to the website for printable versions and more information – https://www.csp.org.uk/publications/10-things-you-need-know-about-your-back
This link is extremely useful and details informative support for explaining and dealing with back pain, also including a printable version of the below leaflet