GP Health Guide

Tesco Pharmacy

Please send me a link to the latest GP Health Guide in my area.

National & Regional Helplines
To visit website, please click on the appropriate box below.

Printable version   Home   Previous Feature Next Feature
Back pain

It may be triggered by bad posture while sitting or standing, bending awkwardly, or lifting incorrectly. It’s not generally caused by a serious condition. Find out more about the causes of back pain.

In most cases, back pain will improve in a few weeks or months, although some people experience long-term pain or pain that keeps coming back.

Types of back pain

Backache is most common in the lower back ('lumbago'), although it can be felt anywhere along your spine, from your neck down to your hips. Read information on neck pain and shoulder pain, which are covered separately.

Sometimes, back pain can be caused by an injury or disease, such as:

• A slipped disc – when one of the discs in the spine is damaged and presses on the nerves
• Sciatica – irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, which causes pain, numbness and tingling that travels down one leg
• Whiplash – neck injury caused by a sudden impact
• Frozen shoulder – inflammation around the shoulder that causes pain and stiffness
• Ankylosing spondylitis – a long-term condition that causes pain and stiffness where the spine meets the pelvis

The rest of this information will focus on back pain that doesn’t have an obvious cause. Doctors call this “non-specific back pain”.

Signs of a serious problem: You should seek urgent medical help if you have back pain and:
• A high temperature (fever)
• unexplained weight loss
• A swelling or a deformity in your back
• It’s constant and doesn't ease after lying down
• Pain in your chest
• A loss of bladder or bowel control
• An inability to pass urine
• Numbness around your genitals, buttocks or back passage
• It's worse at night
• It started after an accident, such as after a car accident

These problems could be a sign of something more serious and need to be assessed as soon as possible.

Read our blogs
Submit your blog

© 2019 Macro Media Ltd! All rights reserved.