Back pain is a very common ailment amongst people of all ages. It varies hugely in severity - ranging from a mildly uncomfortable ache to constant, debilitating agony - and can be brought on by all kinds of different triggers, including:
- Poor posture
- Lifting heavy objects (manual handling injuries)
- Pulled muscles or ligaments
- Stress / fatigue
- Hard blows to the back (e.g. falling on your back)
- Medical conditions such as scoliosis or spondylolisthesis
Most back pain gets better within a few weeks if not sooner. Sometimes, a simple change may be all that's required to relieve your back pain - for example, if you suffer from back pain due to bad posture
, correcting your posture should solve the problem.
Sometimes, however, the pain doesn't go away (this is called 'chronic pain' or 'persistent pain'). In this case, it may be necessary to seek treatment.
Treatment options for persistent back pain
If you are suffering from severe and/or persistent back pain, you should visit your GP. They will most likely recommend one (or more) of the following treatments:
- Pain relief medication. In order to help you deal with the pain, your doctor may prescribe a course of painkillers. Different types of medication may be recommended depending on the severity of your pain and other factors: if you only require light pain relief, paracetamol or ibuprofen might do the trick, whereas particularly excruciating pain may require something stronger (such as codeine or tramadol). Always consult your GP before taking pain medication.
- Physical therapy. In certain circumstances, physical therapy may be recommended as a way of reducing your pain and helping you to live your life normally. Some forms of physical therapy are available on the NHS, although if your pain is caused by an underlying medical issue, it may be a good idea to seek a specialised treatment course that is specifically tailored to your condition (e.g. ScolioGold therapy for scoliosis and other curvatures of the spine).
- Surgery. Some causes of chronic back pain can be corrected via a surgical operation. For instance, if you have a severe case of scoliosis that's causing persistent pain, spinal fusion surgery might be recommended as a possible solution. However, surgery is invasive and comes with many risks, and there are several alternatives to surgery that you should consider before undergoing an operation.
if you suffer from back pain and would like to arrange for a Specialist Spinal Physiotherapist to assess and treat your condition, please contact Scoliosis SOS on 0207 488 4428 to arrange an Initial Consultation.