Friday, 3rd July 2020

This Month's Magazine
Back Pain

Back Pain

Is extremely common – about four in five people are affected at some point in their lifetime. - Extract taken from Bupa International health information. Full fact sheets and binder are available from STM Nummos Life (see our ad on page 25 of magazine)

Anyone can get back pain at any age, but itÂ’s most common in people between the ages of 35 and 55, or over.

Your back has many interconnecting structures, including bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Its main support structure is the spine, which is made up of 24 separate bones called vertebrae, plus the bones of the sacrum and coccyx.

Between the vertebrae are discs that act as shock absorbers and allow your spine to bend. Your spinal cord threads down through the central canal of each vertebra, carrying nerves from your brain to the rest of your body.

If you have low back pain, you may have tension, soreness or stiffness in your lower back area. This pain is often referred to as ‘non-specific’ back pain and usually improves on its own within a few days.

  • Acute back pain – lasting less than six weeks
  • Sub-acute back pain – lasting six weeks to three months
  • Chronic back pain – lasting longer than three months


You should see a doctor as soon as possible if, as well as back pain, you have:

  • A fever (high temperature)
  • Redness or swelling on your back
  • Pain down your legs and below your knees
  • Numbness or weakness in one or both legs or around your buttocks
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control (incontinence)
  • Constant pain, particularly at night
  • Pain that is getting much worse and is spreading up your spine

These symptoms are known as red flags. ItÂ’s important to seek medical help for these symptoms to ensure you donÂ’t have a more serious, underlying cause for your back pain.

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