Back pain is one of the most common health conditions worldwide. If you have back pain, it can stop you from being able to move, work and get a good night’s sleep.
Even the simplest of every day tasks, like getting out of bed, can be painful.
This page provides general information on back pain caused by arthritis in the spine and what can be done to help it.
This information is not meant for people with a specific cause of back pain, such as fracture, ankylosing spondylitis, or injury.
Back pain may be felt as a sharp pain, ache or spasm in the lower part of the back, or in the hips/buttocks. Your back may feel stiff, making it difficult to turn or bend.
Sometimes pain can also travel down one or both of your legs. You may also notice tingling (pins and needles) or numbness in your legs and/or feet.
An example of this type of pain is sciatica, caused by irritation or compression (squeezing) of the sciatic nerve.
It can be near impossible to find one particular thing that may be causing back pain. Often, it is due to a combination of different factors such as:
In some cases, you may be told your back pain is caused by a certain condition, such as:
Most people with back pain will not need to see a doctor as most cases will get better within a week or two. However, you should see your doctor as soon as possible if:
You should also speak to your doctor if your back pain is severely affecting your ability to move, exercise or sleep; is affecting your general health or your mood; is making it difficult to manage other health conditions; or is causing you to take strong pain relieving medicines for more than a few days.
1. Learn about back pain and play an active role in your treatment.
To find more information on back pain and some of the ways you can help manage it, follow the links at the bottom of this page. If you are
thinking about trying a new treatment, its also important to talk to your healthcare team to ensure it is safe and suitable for you .
2. Stay active and healthy
Your back is designed for movement. You may need to rest or reduce some activities when the pain is bad. But, the sooner you get back to
your normal activities, the sooner you are likely to recover from back pain. A physiotherapist or exercise physiologist can give advice
about exercises to keep your back moving.
If you are carrying extra weight, losing weight with the help of a dietitian may be of benefit. It can also be helpful to have strategies to help reduce stress or anxiety.
3. Learn ways to manage pain
There are many things you can try to get the pain under control, including exercise or movement, using medicines to manage pain, heat/cold treatments.
MyBackPain.org.au provides trustworthy and up-to-date information on low back pain. Developed by expert researchers, health professionals and people with back pain, the aim is to get your back on track!