Video Credit: Cheshire & Merseyside Back Pain Campaign
Back pain is common with 80% of people having an episode of back pain in their lifetime. In most cases, this will improve within a few days / weeks. Very few cases are due to serious disease.
Back pain can be very painful and disabling leading to a big impact on your everyday activities at work and home. Most back pain will recover without any medical intervention.
Understanding your back pain and the right things to do helps reduce the fear and concern about the condition. This along with keeping moving helps you to recover more quickly.
Episodes of back pain are usually short-lived and most people will see an improvement by doing the following:
Continue with your day-to-day life as much as possible - Gentle movement / activity helps speed recovery. Remember pain does not mean you are damaging your back and you should improve more quickly if you continue to move, even if this causes some discomfort.
Take regular pain relief - Seek advice from a pharmacist if you are unsure what to take.
The body needs time to heal. You should start to feel gradual improvement after 7-10 days but if after 2 weeks there is little change, or if your pain is severe contact your GP surgery.
More about back pain
Acute back pain
Acute back pain can come on suddenly, or over time and can range from a mild pain or ache to quite severe pain, which can be extremely distressing and can sometimes stop you carrying out your everyday activities.
Leg pain (sciatica)
Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back pain refers to pain that has not gone away after three months. Like acute back pain, it is usually caused by a strain or a sprain in the back - but the pain and distress can last for much longer and it can have a big impact on your day-to-day life.
Chronic back pain can range from a mild pain or ache, to a more severe pain. This can depend on a variety of things, such as how happy you are at home or at work, if you are prone to depression or if you have had back pain before. Chronic back pain usually requires treatment such as medication or physiotherapy. In most cases though, your back will heal itself. It is important that you keep active and continue as normal, but if your pain is severe and persistent then you should seek medical advice for diagnosis and the appropriate treatment.