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10 Top Tips to Managing Your Lower Back Pain

Updated: Oct 21, 2023


Lower back pain is very common and a leading cause of disability in the UK. Approximately 1 in 6 adults have some form of back pain (NICE, 2023).

But, thankfully it usually does resolve relatively quickly usually around 6 weeks. This is known as acute lower back pain. But sometimes the pain can last longer and then keep on re-occurring; if the pain lasts longer than 3 months this is known as persistent pain.


However, here are top 10 tips in managing lower back pain....


Number 1: Avoid fixed positions - this will cause your back to become more stiff and painful. Try and move and change position every 45mins to 1 hour.


Number 2: Keep on moving- even in the early phases of lower back pain do try and maintain some low level activity such as light walking, swimming or gentle mobility exercises. Laying in bed and not moving is the worst thing you can do - rest is not best!

Its important to note that no one type of exercise has been proven to be more effective than others so just pick an exercise you enjoy, and that you can afford to maintain in the long-term and that fits in with your daily schedule! If you need more support and guidance then contact us at BetterMe Physiotherapy.


Number 3: Take Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) ONLY if recommended by your healthcare professional like a pharmacist or GP. This type of medication is commonly used to manage pain and inflammation associated with musculoskeletal disorders such as your back pain.


Number 4: Relax! Stress and anxiety can make your pain and lower back tension worse!

Practice deep breathing exercises and mindfulness.

Try these: Click on the links below...



Number 5: Seek urgent help if......

  • Attend A and E URGENTLY if you develop sudden or progressive weakness or numbness in both legs, bladder or bowel symptoms, saddle/genital numbness , erectile dysfunction. This could be a serious condition known as Cauda Equina Syndrome - compression of the spinal nerves at the tail end of the spinal cord. These nerves are responsible for controlling bladder and bowel function, as well as sensation in and around your genitals, back passage, bladder and bowel. See full list of symptoms at the link below-


Number 6: Complementary therapies:

Why not try the following in helping reduce your pain and improving your movement of which physiotherapists can provide.


Soft tissue massage

Trigger point release

Muscle energy techniques

Passive stretching techniques

Spinal mobilizations / manipulation


They all work in a similar way as the direct mechanical stimulus to the tissues activates neurophysiological mechanisms in which results in reduced muscle tension, spasm, increased range of motion. Manual therapy also releases your bodies natural pain relievers such as endorphins which blocks pain signals.


Why not book in for massage therapy with us. Click the link to go to our booking page.





Number 7: Get enough restorative sleep


Pain is a leading cause of insomnia—difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep. Inadequate sleep can also make your back pain worse. This vicious cycle makes it more difficult for you to get restorative sleep.


Getting enough restorative sleep is needed for the body’s tissues to heal and recharge energy levels. If you have trouble sleeping, it is important to address pain or other factors that are causing it such as stress and anxiety. Your Physio might recommend lifestyle changes, or other treatments depending on what is disrupting your sleep.


Number 8: Remember not all back pain is related to structural damage!

You can have back pain without any damage or injury Many physical or psychological factors can cause back pain and often a combination of these are involved. Many factors can cause back pain and often a combination of these are involved. They could be

  • Physical factors, such as ‘protecting’ the back and avoiding movements, or a simple strain.

  • Psychological factors, including a fear of damage or not getting better, feeling down or being stressed.

  • More general health and lifestyle factors, like being tired and rundown, not getting enough good quality sleep, being overweight or not getting enough physical activity

  • Social triggers, such as difficult relationships at work or home, low job satisfaction or stressful life events, like a family death or illness. Crucially, it’s important to know that all pain is 100 per cent real and never ‘all in your head’, even when factors like stress or mood are involved. Each of the factors can turn up the volume on your pain and gaining a greater understanding of when that can happen puts you in a stronger position to recognise them and learn how to turn down the dial again (CSP 2017).

Number 9: Get assessed by a health professional like a physiotherapist

Physiotherapists are experts in spinal assessments, diagnosis and management. Treatments often vary depending on what is going on, but you will be guided through a individualized rehabilitation programme, with the aim of getting you back to full function and pain free. If the pain is persisting or you are concerned then it is important you consult a clinician like a physiotherapist so a proper diagnosis can be sought and any other serious pathology ruled out. Book in here for a 10% discount today.


Number 10: Remember you dont always need a scan!!


You rarely need a scan and it can do more harm than good!


This is because seeing perfectly normal changes to your spine can cause you to avoid the activities they should be doing to get better, such as exercise and movement in general.

Only in rare cases, there may be something more serious or underlying that requires medical advice. However, these account for just two per cent of cases so if your physio or GP does not send you for one, you should take it as a good sign that there is nothing concerning going on (CSP 2017).







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