Back Pain

Back pain is very common and normally improves within a few weeks or months.

Pain in the lower back  is particularly common, although it can be felt anywhere along the spine – from the neck down to the hips.

In most cases the pain isn’t caused by anything serious and will usually get better over time.

There are things you can do to help relieve it. But sometimes the pain can last a long time or keep coming back.

back pain

  • Stay active and try to continue your normal routine: This helps recovery compared to bedrest.
  • Take Pain Relief: Paracetamol and Ibuprofen are available from the shops. Ask the pharmacist if you are unsure. 
  • Back exercises and stretches: Try these exercises to help get moving
  • Learn about back pain: Here is a useful website called Sheffield Aches&Pains and interesting myths about back pain.

Although it can be difficult, it helps if you stay optimistic and recognise that your pain should get better, as people who manage to stay positive despite their pain tend to recover quicker

It is sensible to try these measures for a few weeks and a majority of people will be much improved within 4-6 weeks. 


it’s a good idea to get help if:

  • the pain doesn’t start to improve within a few weeks
  • the pain stops you doing your day-to-day activities
  • the pain is very severe or gets worse over time
  • you’re worried about the pain or are struggling to cope

You should contact your GP or 111 immediately if you have back pain and:

  • numbness or tingling around your genitals or buttocks
  • difficulty peeing
  • loss of bladder or bowel control
  • a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • unexplained weight loss
  • it is worse at night