Back Pain

Click here for leaflet on low backpain

Back pain affects thousands of people, but in most cases is not serious and medical treatment is not always necessary.

MOST BACK PAIN IS CAUSED BY

* Stiffness or spasm of the muscles caused by sleeping in an uncomfortable position
* Doing activities you are not used to

OTHER CAUSES
* Being overweight
* Pregnancy
* Incorrect lifting techniques
* A disc between the base of the spine moving out of position or pressing on a nerve

COMMON BACK PROBLEMS
* Pain of the upper or lower back
* Pain spreading from the back of the thigh to the ankle (sciatica)

BACK PROBLEMS CAN BE PREVENTED BY

* Keeping active
* Keeping to a healthy weight
* Sleeping on a firm mattress
* Lifting heavy weights correctly - crouch down, straighten knees and keep your back straight

TREATMENT AT HOME

* Stay in bed, but no longer than one or two days
* Massage the painful area; apply heat
* Take painkillers
* Exercise gently

Seek advice from your healthcare professional if...

* The pain persists for more than a few days

* The pain extends into one or both legs or arms

* The pain came on with no cause

* Your bottom, arms or legs are numb or tingling

* It's difficult to move any arm or leg

* Coughing or sneezing makes the pain worse

* You do not have normal bladder or bowel control