Back pain doesn’t always have an identifiable cause, but it can be agonising for the sufferer.
Often affecting either the lower or upper back, it is “very common” according to the NHS, affecting an estimated 28 million people in the country each year.
“In most cases the pain isn’t caused by anything serious,” said the NHS online, “and will usually get better over time.”
There are several methods of reducing back pain and soothing the agonising symptoms.
Try these three tips, recommended by experts, to reduce back pain.
“The most common cause of back pain is mechanical strain,” said Dr Dawn Harper, GP.
“The problem is most of us don’t take much notice of our backs until they go wrong. Once someone has strained the muscles in their back, it is often a recurrent problem so I am a huge fan of people doing core strength exercises and taking time to think about their posture.”
She recommended pilates to help with this.
“I do a 15 minute routine every morning before my shower.
“Back pain that is associated with a fever, numbness or weakness and poor control of bladder or bowels must be seen urgently by a doctor.”
Improve muscle tone
“Almost any activity can cause backache, including housework, gardening and over-vigorous exercise,” said Dr Sarah Brewer, medical nutritionist whose work features in books and on drsarahbrewer.com.
To help treat this, she recommended improving muscle tone through strength building exercises, such as these recommended by the NHS.
“If you are overweight and unfit, poor muscle tone also increases the risk as your back is not getting the support it needs.”
Eat more Omega-3 fish oil
Diet changes can also help reduce back pain. Dr Brewer said fish oil could have a beneficial effect because it can “reduce inflammation and pain”.
“Omega-3 fish oils, or cod live oil, can help reduce inflammation to improve back stiffness and pain,” she added.
Back pain sufferers could also try painkillers or placing cold compressors on affected areas to relieve pain.
The condition can last for several weeks before disappearing again according to the NHS.
They recommend visiting a doctor if the pain doesn’t improve in a few weeks, the pain stops you from doing daily activities, it gets worse over time or you’re worried about the pain and “struggling to cope”.
“You can see your GP, who will ask about your symptoms, examine your back, and discuss possible treatments,” they said.
“They may refer you to a specialist doctor or a physic therapist for further help.”