Back pain is a very common condition, affecting millions of people throughout the UK. It can take a variety of forms and have a wide range of causes.
While it’s usually a short-term issue that gets better within a couple of weeks or months, some people will suffer from long-term back pain, or repeated episodes.
If you’re experiencing severe or long-term back pain, don’t put off speaking to a doctor. Our GPs will be able to determine the likely causes, recommend a course of treatment and if needed, prescribe medication to help you manage the pain.
Back pain can have a variety of causes - from bad posture to strains and injury.
Since the back is a complicated mechanism, which includes a variety of muscles, bones, joints and nerves - it can be affected in many different ways, which can cause problems when trying to identify what’s causing back pain.
The majority of back problems are caused by minor strains or injuries, which can occur while carrying out a variety of daily activities, or during the course of your work.
For instance, if you sit down all day, have to lift heavy objects or have to bend awkwardly for much of the working day, this can bring on back problems or make existing ones worse.
Strains are common among those who play a lot of sports and can be brought on by overusing the muscles in a repetitive way.
Certain groups of people are also at greater risk of developing back pain, including pregnant women, smokers, overweight people and those suffering from mental health problem like stress or depression.
While back pain will usually get better on its own, you can use over-the-counter painkillers and compression packs to manage the pain.
In more serious or long-term cases, you should speak to a GP as soon as possible. In cases like these, stronger painkillers may be prescribed to tackle the pain, while a referral to a specialist exercise class or therapist may be needed.
Our doctors can discuss your back pain, discover what’s likely to be causing it and if needed, prescribe medication to help you deal with the pain or refer you on to the next stage of treatment.