Advice on how to treat back pain from Mr Ian Shackleford, Consultant Spinal Surgeon

With so many people in the UK suffering from back pain at some point in their lives – whether through sporting injuries or more commonly through general wear and tear, it’s useful to know the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ to help us prevent and treat back pain.

Our Spinal Consultant, Mr Ian Shackleford suggests the following*:

Back pain is normal with 10% of the adult population suffering at any one time. Fortunately it rarely indicates any serious damage to the spine or the nerves it contains and in the acute phase is mainly due to severe muscle spasm. Just like cramp in other muscle groups, back pain responds best to local stretching and massage to the involved muscle, heat and cold and, if severe early administration of anti-inflammatories, such as Ibuprofen that can be purchased in most local shops. Care should be taken if you have a history of indigestion or asthma.

After 2-3 days of taking it relatively easy, but keeping mobile, a staged return to full activity should be possible. You need only be concerned if you develop severe radiating leg pain, increasing weakness or numbness, altered bladder or bowel function or pain worse at rest, particularly at night.

In the modern world most of us spend a lot of our time sitting, whether at work or in our leisure time, and as a result we have poor postural muscles. Building these up with core stability exercises such as Pilates or ball exercises, will help prevent future episodes and allow return to sport and exercise.  

To find out more or to make an appointment with Mr Shackleford, call us on 0845 602 2500.

*Always consult your doctor or specialist for advice specific to your medical needs

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Mr Ian Shackleford, Consultant Spinal Surgeon

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