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The best way to deal with back pain Based on the latest research



Back pain is very common and causes a great deal of misery but, fortunatley, serious or permanent damage is rare. There has been a revolution in thinking about back care and we now deal with it in a different way. This booklet sets out the facts and show you how to get better as quickly as possible. It's based on the latest research.

      What you do about back pain yourself is usually ore important than the exact diagnosis or treatment.

     An attack of back pain can be alarming. Even a minor back strain can be very painful and it's natural to think that something dreadful might have happened. But stop and look at the facts:


Serious or permanent damage is rare.

There are lots of things you can do to help yourself.




  • Most back pain is not due to any serious disease.
  • The acute pain usually improves within days or a few weeks, at least enough to get on with your life. The long-term outlook is good.
  • Sometimes aches and pains can last for quite a long time. But that doesn't mean it's serious. It does usually settle eventually -even though it's frustrating that no one can predict exactly when! Most people can get going quite quickly, even while they still have some pain.
  • About half the people who get backache will get it again within a couple of years. But that still does not mean it's serious. Between attacks most people return to normal activites with little, if any, pain.
  • What you do in the early stages is very important. Rest for more than a day or two usually does not help and may actually prolong pain and disability.
  • Your back is designed for movement: it needs movement - a lot of movement. The sooner you get moving and doing your ordinary activities as normally as possible, the sooner you will feel better.
  • The pepole who cope best with back pain are those who stay active and get on with life despite the pain.

Back pain need not cripple you, so don't let it!

The sooner you get on with your life, the sooner you will feel better.



Your spine is one of the strongest parts of your body. It is made of solid bony blocks joined by discs to give it strength and flexibility. It is reinforced by strong ligaments, and surrounded by large and powerful muscles that protect it. Most simple back strains do not cause any lasting damage.


It is surprisingly difficult to damage your spine.


Despite what you might have heard:

  •  Only a few people with back pain have a slipped disc or trapped nerve. Even then, a slipped disc usually gets better by itself. Very few back problems ever need surgery.
  • X-rays and MRI scans can detect serious spinal injuries, but they don't usually help in ordinary back pain. They may even be misleading. Doctors sometmes mention "degeneration" which sounds frightenning, but its not damage or arthritis. These are the normal changes with age-just like grey hair.
  • Your doctor or therapist will often not be able to pinpoint the source of the pain. Again, it's frustrating not to knwo exactly what is wrong. Actually, in another way it's good news - you do not have any serious damage to your spine.


Most back pain comes from the working parts of your back - the muscles, ligaments and small joints. Your back is simply not moving and working as it should. You can think of it being "out of condition". So whay you should do is get your back moving and working properly again. This stimulates its natural ability to recover.


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