What is back pain?
Back pain is a common problem which is often caused by a simple muscle, tendon or ligament strain. Read more
How is the back structured?
The backbone, or spinal column, is made up of 24 bones called vertebrae, which give strength and flexibility. Read more
What causes back pain?
Four out of five of us have back pain at some point. It’s usually caused by a simple muscle, tendon or ligament strain, although there are a few specific conditions that can cause back pain. Read more
Should I see a doctor about my back pain?
You should see your doctor if your pain is very severe, lasts for a long period of time or affects your everyday activities. Read more
How can I help myself when I have back pain?
Simple painkillers, and self-help measures like regular exercise and paying attention to your posture are often all that's needed if your pain is due to a simple strain. Read more
Why does back pain become chronic?
Often we don’t know what causes chronic back pain or why pain continues after the original problem has settled down. It’s important to continue with your daily activities and exercise to reduce the impact it has on your everyday life. Read more
What is the outlook for back pain?
For most people the outlook is good, with 75–90% recovering within a few weeks. However, the pain does tend to come back every now and then. Read more
How are back problems diagnosed?
Your GP will probably be able to make a diagnosis after examining you, although sometimes you may need x-rays or scans. Read more
What treatments are there for back pain?
Sometimes, if simple painkillers and self-help measures aren't helping, a course of physiotherapy or additional drug treatments or injections can be helpful. Read more
What if my back pain is affecting my work?
Getting back to work sooner rather than later is usually best. Support is available if you need to make some changes to your working environment. Read more
Research and new developments for back pain
The Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre has found that a new model of primary care can have significant benefits for patients seeking help from their GP for back pain. Read more
Exercises to manage back pain
Exercises designed to strengthen and stabilise the structures that support the back. Read more