Understanding Back Pain

Back Pain - usually described as stiffness, aching or tension in the back

What is back pain? 

Back pain is a common complaint with over 70% of adults suffering at some point in their lives.  Most commonly your back pain will be non-specific lower back pain.  This means that is not due to any specific disease or serious back problem.  However this doesn't stop it being painful and non-specific back pain can last up to 12 weeks.

Back pain is usually described as stiffness, aching or tension in the back.  Non-specific low back pain may be caused by straining a muscle or ligament, or by a minor problem with vertebrae or discs.  It can be caused by bad posture, bending awkwardly or lifting incorrectly.

If you are concerned about your back pain then you should visit your doctor.  You should see your GP if you have pain outside of your back area, pain that does not ease after lying down, any numbness, unexplained weight loss, fever or pain that is worse at night.

How to treat back pain

Most back pain will improve over time, and the best back pain treatments are basic pain relief such as paracetamol, and to keep moving.  Doctors used to recommend rest but this is no longer considered beneficial.  Walking, swimming or carrying out your daily chores will help your recovery.

Many people find that heat therapy helps soothe their back pain, and a hot water bottle or wheat bag, which you heat in the microwave, can help.  Massaging with muscle and joint gel can also bring comfort and help you to relax. 

Tower Health’s natural back pain solutions

Electronic pain relief such as TENS treatment can also help relieve back pain.  TENS can block the pain messages being sent to your brain and stimulate natural pain killers called endorphins in your body. 

Tower Health offer a wide choice of easy to use, home TENS devices.