The Back

Low back pain is estimated to affect at least 60% to 80% of the population in the UK at some time in their lives.  2.5 million people have back pain every day of the year and back pain is the leading cause of disability.  (Pain community centre, Cardiff University)

Types of Back Pain

Backache is most common in the lower back (‘lumbago’), although it can be felt anywhere along your spine, from your neck down to your hips. 

Sometimes, back pain can be caused by an injury or disease, such as:

  • a slipped disc – when one of the discs in the spine is damaged and presses on the nerves 
  • sciatica – irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, which causes pain, numbness and tingling that travels down one leg 
  • whiplash – neck injury caused by a sudden impact 
  • frozen shoulder – inflammation around the shoulder that causes pain and stiffness 
  • ankylosing spondilytis – a long-term condition that causes pain and stiffness where the spine meets the pelvis


Postural compensation, trauma and impact injury, stress and emotions, lack of exercise or movement – all of these things can contribute to back pain. 

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