Back pain

Most people are troubled at some point in their lives with back and neck problems. Sometimes it’s a specific injury or simply long term aches and pains. The pain may occur suddenly and be gone in a couple of days, or it may last for weeks or even longer. We can help you with low back pain, sciatica, disc problems and stiff / painful neck.

Back pain

garden-backpainResearch suggests that in most cases it is best to keep normally active. Most people with back pain make a rapid recovery within a few weeks.

Pain does not necessarily mean there is a serious problem. If you have severe pain that gets worse over several weeks, or if you are unwell with back pain or have had a recent serious fall or accident, go to your GP.

Back / neck pain can also respond to acupuncture or Pilates

How is back pain caused?

Back pain is very common and is the largest cause of work related absence in the UK. Whether it rules your life or you just get the occasional twinge, physiotherapy can usually help. Research shows that in most cases it is best to keep as normally active as possible.

Back pain can be the result of pain from the following structures; muscles, tendons, ligaments, discs, nerves or other soft tissues or joints. These structures have been shown to cause pain, however  most back pain does not have one simple cause. i.e. what is causing these structures to be painful? This may be due to a range of factors, such as repetitive activity, prolonged postures and bad habits. In physio terms, the musculoskeletal system may be under-loaded (not fit enough to cope with the activity) or over-loaded (not enough time to rest and recover)

Neck pain

neck painNeck pain is extremely common. Pain and stiffness can make it difficult to turn round – for example, when reversing a car.

Symptoms may appear suddenly or gradually over time. The pain may be limited to the neck or may radiate into the arm and may be accompanied by headaches and dizziness, or pins and needles down the arm.

What causes it?

Most neck pain does not have one simple cause, but is a result of a range of factors that affect joints, muscles and tendons in the neck. These factors that can contribute include tension and sustained or repetitive activity, such as sitting at a desk at work, using the telephone a lot, playing a musical instrument, and driving long-distance.

Research has also shown that pain can also be influenced by our own beliefs and feelings, as well as psychological and social factors.  This does not mean that physio is not able to be of benefit, you will be assessed thoroughly to determine the causes of your pain and the best approach will be determined.


If the neck has moved suddenly and unexpectedly (as in a car accident), the pain may be due to an injury, commonly known as whiplash.  Most of the time, getting the neck moving again after the accident is the best way forwards. Physios are among the healthcare professions that are able to determine when this is best for you to do this.

How can physiotherapy help?

After a thorough assessment we will determine the most important factors contributing to your problem.  We will determine the source of the pain and formulate an efficient evidence based approach to move forwards.

This may include hands-on treatments, such as mobilisations of the joints, muscle techniques and mobilising the nerves. This will always be combined with an exercise programme for you to carry out at home along with advice on how to manage the problem in order to achieve the best result.

Don’t be fooled by paying for treatment where you are not told how to manage the pain; half an hour of treatment can have an effect but it is short lived if the next 23.5 / 47.5 etc. hours you are not maximising the effects with good management and doing specific exercises to continue to affect any factors maintaining the problem – you will not get better quickly!

We are in partnership with you – you have to play an active part.

backpainYou will also be shown the best ways to prevent recurrence and given a programme which is tailored to your needs.


Research clearly shows that physical activity and exercise will help recovery. One of our physiotherapists can provide an exercise programme based on your health, ability and fitness levels.

How can I help myself?

For most types of neck pain rest does not help recovery, and it is better to keep moving. Tips include:

  • Keep as active as possible, changing positions regularly.
  • Listen to your body! Try and notice when your neck and shoulder muscles start to tense and learn a relaxation technique that works for you.
  • Take simple pain relief and any prescribed medicines regularly. Follow the instructions on the packet, or ask your pharmacist.

Links to back pain

Body Movement Screen and Personalised programme

"It's like an MOT for your body"

We can offer you a full movement screen that analyses the way you move highlighting areas where you will benefit most from specific conditioning.

If you have a recurrent / long term problem, why not consider a body screen

Find out more about the Body MOT



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