Back Pain

Back pain is very common and normally improves within a few weeks or months. In most cases the pain isn't caused by anything serious and will usually get better over time.


The following tips may help reduce your backache and speed up your recovery:

  • Try to stay as active as possible and continue your daily activities – this is one of the most important things you can do as resting for long periods is likely to make the pain worse.
  • Exercises and stretches for back pain may be helpful as well as other activities such as walking or swimming.
  • Over the counter anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen can help but always check with your pharmacist if it is safe for you to take.
  • Hot or cold compression packs may also provide short term relief –a hot water bottle or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth can help.


In most cases it is not necessary to see a doctor but it is 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 are worried about the pain or are struggling to cope

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

  • Numbness or tingling around your genitals or buttocks
  • Difficulty peeing
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Chest pain
  • A high temperature of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • A swelling or a deformity in your back
  • It is worse at night
  • It started after a serious accident, such as after a car accident

More Information

For more information on back pain, visit the NHS choices website by clicking the link below:      

Stretches & Exercises

For stretches and exercises to help back pain click the link below:


Content adapted from NHS Choices