Back Pain – Symptoms Causes And Treatments

11th October 2021 By Phoenix Hospital Group

Back Care Awareness Week 2021 runs from the 4th to the 8th of October and brings attention to this debilitating condition affecting millions of people. Back pain is one of the most common types of pain. It is also one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work, and it is a leading cause of disability worldwide.


Back pain is more common as you get older, starting from 30 to 40 years old. It can range from a muscle aching to a shooting, burning, or stabbing sensation. In addition, the pain may radiate down your leg or worsen with bending, twisting, lifting, standing, or walking.

Causes of upper back pain

Compared to the neck (cervical spine) and lower back (lumbar spine), the upper back is remarkably resistant to injury and pain. When upper back pain does occur, it is typically due to:

  • Poor posture – this is the most common cause. Leading a sedentary life or sitting for long periods with poor posture can cause structural changes in your upper back, leading to pain. The muscles can become weaker and thus not hold the spine in its neutral alignment as before.
  • Improper lifting technique – lifting a heavy object without keeping the spine aligned can stress the upper back.
  • Overuse
  • Accident or collision

Causes of lower back pain

Lower back pain is more common than upper back pain. The single most common cause is a torn or pulled muscle and/or ligament. A low back sprain or strain can happen suddenly or can develop slowly over time due to repetitive movements. Chronic lower back pain, on the other hand, can be due to a lumbar herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, joint dysfunction, trauma, osteoarthritis, or compression fracture.


  • Exercise and stretching – staying active and doing simple back exercises and stretches can offer relief from the pain. Doing regular exercise also helps keep your back strong and healthy.
  • Painkillers – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) tablets, such as ibuprofen, can help relieve symptoms.
  • Physiotherapy
  • Hot and cold packs
  • Surgery

Treatments for lower or upper back pain depend on its cause. However, patients suffering from this condition often report great frustration because the treatments are not long-lasting, or are not keen on taking too many painkillers for a prolonged time.

At Phoenix Hospital Group, we have a specialist pain management clinic. We understand each patient is unique. We work to understand the cause of your pain, how it affects you in your day-to-day activities and develop and appropriate pain management solution for you.

At our London pain clinic, we provide a wide range of highly effective pain management solutions which can help you manage nerve, spine or musculoskeletal pain, including spinal injections. These are anti-inflammatory injections that go directly to the root of your back pain issues.

Contact us to learn more about our specialist and bespoke pain management services.