How to handle back pain
If you have ever suffered from pain or discomfort in your back then you are not alone. According to
reports from the NHS, at least 8 in 10 people in the UK will experience some sort of back pain during
their lifetime. Statistics show that back pain affects people mainly under the age of 45. It is often not
indicative of a serious medical condition and in most cases can be treated at home.
What is back pain?
There are two types of back pain, acute back pain – lasting a few days to four weeks and chronic
back pain, lasting between four and twelve weeks.
The four main locations of back pain are:
• Upper back
• Middle back
• Lower back
The pain can be sharp or dull and can range from a mild sensation to a severe and agonizing feeling.
Sometimes, it will radiate from a certain point or have a shooting sensation. People who experience
back pain may find it affecting their everyday movements and activities, such as discomfort while
sleeping or difficulty rotating the spine or the neck. Because of this, back pain can quickly become a
stressful and frustrating experience. Staying in bed can worsen symptoms of back pain, so it is very
important to look into ways of alleviating back pain.
Triggers and prevention of back pain
Education is a great way to prevent occurrences of back pain. Understanding how to relieve and
prevent back pain is critical. Some of the common triggers of back pain include:
• Poor posture when sitting at your desk or watching TV
• Wearing high heels for long periods
• Incorrectly lifting heavy objects – Be sure to bend only at the knees, hold the object close to your
body, and straighten the legs while changing the position of your back as little as possible.
• Sleeping in uncomfortable positions – You should have a mattress that keeps your spine straight
and supports the weight of your shoulders and buttocks.
• Smoking – A higher percentage of back pain sufferers are smokers. Quitting smoking can reduce
the incidence of back pain
• Being overweight – Regular exercise – this can build strength and control body weight. A controlled
diet – a diet high in vitamin D and calcium are needed for healthy bones
• Standing for long periods, with incorrect posture
• Structural problems such as ruptured disks, sciatica or arthritis
Treatments and pain relief
Back pain pills are often a sought out way of relieving back pain. Most acute back pain gets better on
its own, with resting at home for a few weeks – (bed rest is not recommended, be sure to keep
moving while at home). However, this alone might not work for everyone, as each person has a
different tolerance and experience of pain. Therefore, back pain medication may need to be used.
Luckily, there are some preventative methods to consider to avoid experiencing back pain. Regular,
low-impact exercise such as swimming, Pilates, weight training or yoga are great ways to stretch and
build your muscles to support your back properly. You should always maintain the correct posture
when lifting and sitting at a computer. It is also recommended to rise and stretch regularly if you
work long hours in front of a computer screen. Simple adjustments such as these can drastically
reduce episodes of experiencing back pain and the back pain will get better with time.
Physical therapy should not be disregarded, applying heat, ice and electrical stimulation can relieve
back pain. A physiotherapist may provide specific techniques that will further help to alleviate back
However, if you do start to feel discomfort, there are easy ways to relieve your back pain. Most pain
can be controlled with over the counter pain relief pills. Online pharmacies, such as
mydoctornow.co.uk, provide these over the counter treatment dispatched to your home.
Paracetamol is highly recommended for many variations of pain relief, as is ibuprofen and naproxen,
which are both Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Click here to view a full description
of all pain relief products available. Pain that does not respond to these over the counter medication
may need prescription NSAID medication.
Topical creams containing NSAIDs can also provide relief, these can be bought from online
pharmacies, such as mydoctornow.co.uk.
Drugs that contain opioids may be used for pain that does not respond to NSAIDs. Narcotics such as
codeine and hydrocodone can be used for short periods. However, these require monitoring from a
doctor as they cannot be used for long periods.
Low doses of antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, have been shown to provide some relief for
chronic back pain.
Surgery is usually reserved for those with pain related to structural problems.
Several alternative therapies can be explored, such as massages, acupuncture and transcutaneous
electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy.
When to see a doctor
However, if your back pain is severe, chronic, lasting longer than a few days, it's important to see a
doctor to check whether any underlying medical conditions may need to be treated. Be sure to see
your doctor if you have to use medication for more than three months. It may be that a doctor has
to perform an X-ray or MRI scan, to determine whether broken bones or arthritis may be the cause
of the back pain. Although, these measures won’t show if there are problems with your spine. Other
tests, such as blood tests or bone scans can also further determine any underlying causes.
Ensure that you seek medical help if you experience fever, unexplained weight loss, numbness in
legs, physical weakness or if you have experienced the back pain after an injury or fall.
Suffering from back pain can be an unsettling and frustrating experience. Preventative measures and
pain relief pills can help you take back control. Visit mydoctornow.co.uk to access effective pain
relief pills. An easy, fast and effective solution when you need it the most. Please speak to your
doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about your back pain or any of the medication.
How to Handle Back Pain
Written by Eliza Harris
Checked by Ebun Lufadeju (MPharm)