Low back pain
Most cases of back pain do not require medical attention and can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers and self-care.
However, you should visit your GP if you are worried about your condition or struggling to cope with the pain.
Your GP will ask you about your symptoms and examine your back.
The examination will usually assess your ability to sit, stand, walk and lift your legs, as well as testing the range of movement in your back.
Your GP may also ask you about any illnesses or injuries you may have had, as well as the type of work you do and your lifestyle. Below are some of the questions your GP may ask. It might help to think about these before your appointment..
If your GP thinks there may be a more serious cause, they will refer you for further tests, such as an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan .
Otherwise, your GP can advise you about things you can do and treatments that may help reduce your pain and speed up your recovery.
Find out about treating back pain.
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.
You should seek urgent medical help if you have back pain and a high temperature (fever), unexplained weight loss, a swelling or a deformity in your back, it's constant and doesn't ease after lying down, etc.
Your back is a complex structure made up of bones, muscles, nerves and joints. This can often make it difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the pain.
Most cases of back pain do not require medical attention and can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers and self-care. However, you should visit your GP if you are worried about your condition or struggling to cope with the pain.
Treatments for back pain vary depending on how long you have had the pain, how severe it is, and your individual needs and preferences. Initially, back pain is usually treated with over-the-counter painkillers and home treatments.
There are some simple back exercises and stretches you can do at home to help ease lower back pain and improve your strength and flexibility.
Keeping your back strong and supple is the best way to avoid getting back pain. Regular exercise, maintaining good posture and lifting correctly will all help. How you sit, stand and lie down can have an important effect on your back.
Back pain was agony for Anne Parker from Berkshire, but thanks to the right diagnosis shes now walking tall. My bad back started 12 years ago with pains in my right buttock. When I saw my GP, he said the problem was actually my back,and he gave me painkillers.
Kiran Mohan tells his story about his struggle with back pain. "My back problems started in 1999 when I developed a severe pain in the heel of one of my feet, which gradually progressed to the other foot." he says.