Back pain is a musculo-skeletal disorder which affects millions of people every year & is the biggest cause of people being off sick from work. Back pain has a wide variety of causes including muscle spasm, ligament strains, prolapsed intervertebral discs, joint arthritis, fractures and infection. Some back pain is classed as ‘mechanical pain’ as there is no specific underlying cause, but is brought on by every day stresses & strains resulting from poor posture. Back pain is rarely due to a serious health problem.
Physiotherapy works well for managing back pain. If you see a physiotherapist quickly, this can not only speed up recovery but also prevent the problem happening again.
A physio will first check if you have a serious health problem that may be connected to your back pain. They will then find the reason for your back pain and look at ways to help prevent further problems.
Physios offer a range of treatments that have proven to be effective with back pain. These include manual treatments, manipulation, massage and occasionally electrotherapy or acupuncture. Your physio will also advise you on appropriate exercise and pain relief.
How can I help myself?
There is a lot you can do to help yourself. Continuing with your usual work and activities, as much as possible, can help your back pain.
There are exercises that can reduce your back pain and help to prevent it returning. The right sort of exercise, as advised by a physiotherapist, can make a big difference.
Research has shown lower back pain may return if it is ignored. Lifestyle changes, such as being more active, losing any excess weight, and improving your posture are important.