Witney Physiotherapy Centre

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Back Pain

Back pain is a very common condition that affects at least 60% of adults at some points in their lives. Because most of our movements involve the back to some degree, it can be a much more unpleasant experience than many injuries to other parts of the body.

Back pain is often categorised by how long it has been affecting the patient. Acute back pain is a short term episode, with chronic back pain lasting more than six weeks

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The current advice for dealing with an episode of acute back pain is as follows:

  • Take appropriate painkillers, starting with paracetamol or, if inadequate, ibuprofen.  If stronger painkillers are necessary, you will need to consult your GP for a prescription. Take painkillers at the prescribed intervals and not just when you feel pain.
  • Do not use bed rest as treatment.  If you are absolutely incapable of moving around due to pain, then 2 or 3 days bed rest may be permitted, but this will not be helping your recovery.  Remaining inactive longer than this can lead to stiffness, weakness, loss of fitness and disability.
  • Stay as active as possible and continue normal daily activities.  This has been proven to be extremely effective in getting people fit again in the shortest time period.  Increase your level of activity as your body allows, but do not expect to be completely pain-free in the early stages
  • If your condition has not improved after 3 or 4 days, it is well worth seeing a physiotherapist at this stage.

Both acute and chronic back pain respond well to physiotherapy treatment.  At the Witney Physiotherapy Centre, we recognise that there are many different cause of back pain and will assess and treat you accordingly.  Depending on the nature of the condition, treatment may involve manipulation, mobilisation, exercises, electrotherapy or acupuncture.

Sometimes, recurring episodes of back pain can indicate that there are other problems, such as postural issues, overuse, muscle imbalance, or core instability.  All of these problems respond well to physiotherapy and you are advised to seek treatment as soon as possible.

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