Knowledge is crucial in the prevention of long-term back pain


1 in 5 say back pain interferes with their work & home life ‘most days’. Regular physical activity can be the right thing to guard against it, but if back pain strikes then early expert diagnosis and finding the right treatment is necessary. Today, Nuffield Health, the UK’s largest health charity, calls for people to take action and seek professional advice about ways to prevent and manage back pain.

One in five people say back pain interferes with their work and home life ‘most days’ and one in 20 people say they live with constant pain, according to recent Nuffield Health research. With only 3% of people saying pain went away by itself, dealing with back pain as soon as it occurs will mean better outcomes.

Cabella Lowe, Professional Head of Physiotherapy, Nuffield Health, says:

“Back pain can happen to anyone at any time, but there are simple ways to avoid it. For example, regular physical activity can help to keep your body supple and strong. Warm up exercises before launching into a strenuous activity, like gardening, can avoid days of aches and pain afterwards. Making sure you are supported correctly when sitting in the car, at a desk, or when sleeping will also have an impact. For those who suffer injury or longer term pain, ‘hands-on treatment’ may be necessary. The most important action is to seek expert advice quickly, as research shows that early intervention is the key to getting rid of pain.”

The prevalence of back pain is also high among all age groups, with half (51%) of people recently surveyed, aged between 16 and 54 suffering some form of back pain – neck to hip. Physiotherapists are able to assess, diagnose and treat back pain. This includes looking at the root cause, which may be poor posture, lack of strength and flexibility or poor movement patterns.

As well as being able to use treatment techniques such as joint and soft tissue manipulation, they also advise on the best exercises to do and ways to look after your spine.

The cost of back pain to the exchequer is estimated to be in the region of £5billion per annum (British Pain Society).