In most cases back pain is not caused by any serious damage or disease; the pain usually improves within a few weeks, at least enough to allow you to carry on with your life. It is quite rare for people to have back pain caused by a slipped disc or a trapped nerve. Even then, it usually gets better by itself. X-rays and MRI scans can detect serious spinal injuries that are very rare, but they don’t usually help in ordinary back pain. If you are suffering with severe pain that gets worse over several weeks, or if you are unwell due to the back pain, you should see your doctor. If you are experiencing constant pain the advice on dealing with an attack of back pain will not apply to your particular circumstances.
If you have back pain and suddenly notice any of the following very rare symptoms you should see a doctor straight away:
- Numbness around your back passage or genitals
- Difficulty passing or controlling urine
- Unsteadiness on your feet
- Numbness, pins and needles or weakness in both legs
How you react in the early stages of an attack of back pain is very important. Resting for more than a day or two does not usually help and may prolong the pain. Your back is designed for movement and it needs to be kept moving. The sooner you restart your ordinary activities the sooner you will feel better.
Use simple methods to deal with the pain; over-the-counter pain-killers such as paracetamol, or ibuprofen can help. Also heat or cold applied to the sore area can reduce pain and stiffness.
Manipulation – when performed by a qualified professional osteopath or chiropractor – can also help relieve back pain; you should begin to feel the benefit within a few sessions, although in many cases it is not a good idea to have long term manipulation treatment.
Did work cause your back pain?
If your back pain has developed as a result of your work, you should inform your employer so that they can look at ways of minimising its further development. If it is too late, and it can be proved that they have failed in their duty to protect you, then you might be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Contact one of our highly trained solicitors today to find out how we can help you.