East Dunbartonshire Information Line
East Dunbartonshire Information Line

How to manage back pain

Nearly 10 million working days are lost each year for adults aged 25-64 due to back pain – and around 80% of us will suffer from back pain at some point in our lives.

The financial cost to the UK economy is estimated to be around £12bn per year, plus there are huge personal and emotional costs. Most cases of back pain are self-limiting and probably go within a few weeks, but many suffer on much longer than this.

OPAL  can help you access services to move towards full working order and can help you find the activities to maintain this.

What causes back pain?

It is always important to rule out specific causes such as cancer, infections and fractures, so seek advice from a medical professional if you’re concerned

The vast majority of back pain cases have no sinister cause and are called non-specific, and there are a wide variety of therapies that can be useful.

Here are some simple tips that may help you with your back pain.

1. Get up regularly from your desk

Set an alarm once every hour to remind you to get up and move around. Perhaps try a standing desk, a different chair or even a Swiss ball.

2. Prioritise active relaxation

This could be meditation, yoga, or simply going for a walk.

3. Find a regular form of activity that you enjoy

You are much more likely to engage with an activity long term if you enjoy it. I suggested Tai Chi to Mark because he loved martial arts.

4. Try and be as active as possible

Don’t underestimate the benefits of regular walking.


BBC Health. 2017. How to manage back pain. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40050863. [Accessed 31 May 2017]