• London Spinal Partnership

What is causing my back pain?

Mr Nicholas Thomas gives us the low-down on the back and tells us about the stuff we can do to help it.

Back pain is very common, and can affect people of all ages. It most cases it will resolve itself within a couple of weeks or months, however some patients can also experience life-long symptoms of back pain. Back pain can be caused for a number of different reasons and can also be felt anywhere along the back.

Back pain can be treated and relieved in many different ways, and there are also things that you can do daily to reduce the risk of it coming back.

· Staying fit and healthy

· Improving your posture

· Knowing your limit and not performing over-strenuous activities

· Being active and stretching your back and body. This can be done by walking, running, stretching, swimming, yoga, Pilates and much more.

· Taking anti-inflammatory painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen

· Using heat or cooling compressors to the area of pain

· Using a supportive mattress

If the above treatments do not work and you are still experiencing pain that could be worsening or affecting your day to day life then it may be worth visiting the GP to discuss the issue. Your GP will talk through your medical history, examine you and then review to see if any other ways of therapy could help you . You may also be asked to have a scan such as an X-ray or MRI to check if anything specific is causing the back pain.

The cause of the back pain could be due to a strain or injury, an accident or simply not being active enough. However back pain can also be caused by medical conditions such as a slipped disc or sciatica. If this is the case your symptoms will be accompanied by more than just back pain for example tingling, numbness and pain radiating down the arms or legs.

It is important to seek medical attention urgently if you are experiencing any of the symptoms below:

· Numbness or tingling around your genitals or buttock area

· Bladder or bowel incontinence

· High temperature

· Chest pain

· Swelling or deformity in the back

· If you have been in a serious accident

· If your back pain is not improving or getting significantly worse

We see patients with all types of back pain related conditions and problems. Although back pain is very common, it could be as a result of a different underlying issue that you are not aware of. If your back pain gets worse and you are experiencing more symptoms then it is important that you seek a second opinion to ensure that you have got the right diagnosis.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.


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