- Back pain is very common and usually improves within a few weeks or months.
- Up to 8 in every 10 people in the UK are affected by back pain at some point in their lives.
- Most back pain is experienced in the lower back. This is because the lower back is constantly twisting and stretching. Some scientists believe that back pain is due to evolution, and it may not be preventable.
- A slipped or prolapsed disc is where some of the disc’s softer jelly-like middle (the nucleus pulposus) bulges out (herniates) through a weakness in the outer part of the disc. The bulging disc may press on nearby structures such as a nerve. Some inflammation develops which also may irritate a nerve. The most common age to develop a prolapsed disc is between 30 and 50 years. Twice as many men as women are affected. It is estimated that 1 to 5% of all people will have a prolapsed disc in their life.
- Sciatica is irritation of the nerve that runs from the pelvis to the feet. As many as 40% of people will get it during their life, and it becomes more frequent as you age.
- If you have back pain, stay as active as possible, resting for long periods is likely to make the pain worse.
27 October 2020