Back pain

Back Pain

Back pain is very common and normally improves within a few weeks or months. 

In most cases the pain isn't caused by anything serious and will usually get better over time.

There are things you can do to help relieve it. But sometimes the pain can last a long time or keep coming back.

Cartoon image of woman holding her back
Self-Care Techniques

To help ease back pain, there are a number of self-care techniques you can try:

  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen for pain relief. If taking ibuprofen, make sure you take it with food. Read the patient information leaflet before taking any medicine.
  • Hot or cold compression packs, available from larger pharmacies, can also help with the pain.
  • You can make your own cold compression pack by wrapping a bag of frozen food in a towel.
  • Place a small firm cushion beneath your knees when you’re sleeping on your side. Or use several firm pillows to prop up your knees when lying on your back.
  • It’s important to remain mobile by carrying on with your day-to-day activities, including work, as much as possible.
  • Stay positive: studies show that if you keep positive, you’re likely to make a quicker recovery.
  • Take care when lifting objects.
Visit Your Pharmacist

If your back pain is no better after at least two weeks of self-care or you develop other symptoms, your back pain gets worse or you need further advice, speak to your pharmacist and they can recommend other treatments and will advise you if you need to contact your GP.

When to See Your GP

If your back pain is no better after at least two weeks or you develop other symptoms then contact your GP.

Useful Information