Dealing with an attack of back pain
Sometimes the pain can make you miserable but you should still take control of the pain by trying to stay active and continue as normally as possible.
In the early stages:
- Rest may not help. Your back is designed for movement so the sooner you start doing your ordinary activities the better.
- Use pain killers, heat or cold applied to the sore area may help
- A short course of manipulation can help relieve back pain for some, if done by a qualified professional osteopath, physiotherapist or chiropractor
- Steadily increase your level of activity.
- Do a little bit more each day if the pain has been restricting your movement.
- Do not stay in one position for too long.
- Get up and stretch regularly.
- Move about and take some walks, building up your activity as you get stronger.
- Stay at work if you can to keep active and recover from the pain. If you have a lot of lifting or other risk factors in your job, talk to your supervisor or boss and tell them about tasks that will be difficult to begin with.
- Even if the pain is particularly severe and you are off work, you can still try to do most daily activities or hobbies.
- Don't do one thing for too long. Keep changing your activities so that you are changing position and moving around from time to time.
A summary of good advice can be found in guidance booklets like The Back Book and BackCare website.
NHS Choices is the online 'front door' to the NHS. It is the UK's biggest health website and gives all the information you need to make choices about your health.
- Safe lifting tips
Learning and following the correct method for lifting and handling heavy loads can help to prevent injury. Check out these safe lifting and handling tips.
- How to sit correctly
If you work in an office and use a computer, you can avoid injury by sitting in the right position and arranging your desk correctly. Follow these tips
- Preventing back pain
The best ways to deal with pain and help your back to recover are to maintain your mobility and return to work as soon as possible.