Back Pain

Back pain… Get back on your feet, fast

It's estimated that four out of five adults will suffer from back pain, or tension or stiffness in the lower back, at some point in their lives*. So it's a good idea to know how to tackle this common form of pain when it strikes, and get yourself back on your feet as soon as possible. *BBC Health

The best treatment for you

A combination of painkillers and self-care measures are the usual way to treat a painful back. Some people find alternative treatments, like acupuncture, and manual therapy, such as physiotherapy, helpful. But do make sure the practioner is appropriately qualified and registered.

What else you can do to help yourself
  • Continue with normal activities as much you can - recovery tends to be quicker in people who keep mobile
  • Adopt a good posture
  • Adopt the correct lifting procedure, bending from your knees rather than your back
  • Lose weight if you're overweight ' this will be putting pressure on your back
  • Exercise regularly - if you're new to exercise speak to your doctor first
  • Reduce stress, anxiety and tension and take time to relax
  • Avoid sudden strain and exercise
  • If your back pain is caused by a strain, apply a cold pack immediately, followed by a heat pack 24 to 48 hours later - you'll find reusable hot and cold packs at your local Lloydspharmacy
  • Pace your activities so you don't do too much in one go
  • Give up smoking - smoking increases your risk of back pain
  • To ease minor aches and pains try using a TENS machine, such as the Lloydspharmacy Back Pain Reliever*, alongside painkillers
Speak to your pharmacist or doctor if:
  • Your backache doesn't improve within three days and lasts longer than six weeks, unless it's a complaint you're already seeing your doctor about
  • Your pain is severe
  • You've taken steroids for a few months
  • You're under 20 or over 55
  • You misuse drugs
  • You've had a recent bacterial infection
  • You're pregnant
Seek urgent medical help if:
  • You have other symptoms, such as a high temperature, numbness or problems with your bowel or bladder
  • You have pain that's not eased by lying down or resting
  • You've experienced recent trauma to your back
  • You've got a swelling
  • You've had unexplained weight loss
  • You've got a pain that travels to your chest, down your legs or is high in your back
  • You've a weakened immune system

*Not suitable for use during pregnancy or labour. Not suitable for children under 16 years of age. Not suitable for people with pacemakers, pulse regulators or any other electrical implanted devices or individuals with heart rhythm problems. Cancer patients, people with diabetes or epilepsy should consult their consultant, doctor or pharmacist before use.

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