Back pain is often caused by a sprain or strain, and can be because you are tired, stressed or ‘run down’.
How to treat back pain
- Most back pain recovers within a few weeks.
- The back is strong and resilient and is designed to move and be used.
- It is ok for you to take things a little easier in the first few days after an onset of back pain, but gradually getting yourself moving again in a relaxed way and doing normal activities will speed up your recovery.
- It is normal to experience some pain as you recover. Remember, hurt rarely means harm or damage.
- If you are in pain, you may find it helpful to take paracetamol together with anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, for the first few days.
- A scan is not needed to be able to effectively treat back pain.
- Stay at work or return to work as soon as possible.
- Regular exercise, good sleep and reducing stress will all help to decrease your risk of ongoing pain. It will help to keep you and your back healthy.
- Smoking and being overweight are linked to back pain. So getting advice from a healthcare professional on eating a healthy diet and quitting smoking can be very helpful for pain and your general health.
When to seek medical advice
Do see your doctor if you still have pain after 4 to 6 weeks, or if you have any of these symptoms:
- Difficulty passing or controlling urine or loss of bowel control.
- Numbness or pins and needles around your back passage and/or genitals.
- Impaired sexual function, such as loss of sensation during intercourse.
- A change in your normal walking pattern, such as unexplained weakness of your legs.
Feeling unwell with your back pain, such as a fever or heavy sweating that wakes you from sleep.