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Back Pain: Signs, Symptoms and Prevention

  • Back pain is quite common. It’s typically described as a pain in the lower back, but it can be felt anywhere on your spine.
  • Symptoms can be debilitating and uncomfortable, but it’s not usually caused by anything serious, and if treated properly it should ease.
What to do:
  • Stay active, as much as possible. You can reduce your risk of back pain with an active lifestyle and regular stretching – especially if you’re sitting at a computer for most of the day.

  • Apply hot or cold compress to the painful area

  • Strengthening and stretching exercises

  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen

  • Take a hot bath to soothe and ease aching muscles

  • See a physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor

  • Apply a medicated patch, such as Nurofen Joint & Muscular Pain Relief 200mg Medicated Plaster, to the painful area instead of oral ibuprofen or paracetamol, for up to 24-hour pain relief. If the pain is worrying you, see a GP. The therapies above should be taken with advice from a GP.

What to avoid:
  • Staying still: Movement helps relieve and helps prevent back pain

  • Lifting with your back: Instead, bend your knees and keep your back straight when lifting

  • Hunched driving: Check your driving position, your knees should not be higher than your hips

  • Twisting: Swing your legs out first from bed or a car

  • Avoid slouching: A rolled up towel placed above the base of your back can help while sitting

  • Crouching: for any time period

  • Rush or skip steps on stairs: Take your time to avoid any unnecessary strain

  • Carrying heavy bags: If you must take care alternating or using a rucksack

Why Ibuprofen can help

Ibuprofen is recommended as a first line of treatment for back pain by the NHS. It relieves pain, fever and has anti-inflammatory properties. Ibuprofen can provide superior pain relief to paracetamol in back pain. It targets the source by helping block the pain-inducing enzymes.

Why Nurofen Long Lasting Pain Relief can help

Nurofen Long Lasting Pain Relief Prolonged Release Capsules provide up to 12 hours of relief with a 2-capsule dose, thanks to the fact that it’s specifically designed to slowly release ibuprofen.

Frequent causes of back pain

Strained muscles or ligaments are the most common reason for back pain, and that’s often caused by:

  • Lifting incorrectly
  • Twisting or overstretching
  • Bad posture
  • Sleeping on a sagging mattress
  • Being overweight
  • Energetic activity after a long period of inactivity.

Common types of back pain

There are a few different types of back pain, and it can affect any area along your spine. Below are some more common types.

  • Lower back pain is experienced between the bottom of your ribcage and your legs.
  • Upper and middle back pain is experienced as an aching or stiffness, or even a sharp burning sensation. 

If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health matters for further information or medical advice, please speak to your GP or a Pharmacist.