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What is the best treatment for low back pain?

In the majority of cases back pain will last from a few days to a couple of weeks. Usually your back pain with resolve with gentle mobility and taking things easy for a few days, followed by a gradual return to your normal activities.

When should I need to see a medical professional?

The time to go to a medical professional such as a physiotherapist is if you have:

Severe pain
Trauma or injury
Pain into your legs
Reduced sensation in your legs
Reduced strength in your legs
Any bladder and bowel function changes
Pain lasting longer than 2 weeks

Short term pain relief:

The aims of these treatments are to help you get moving so you can return to your normal activity:

Heat with a hot water bottle or bath or cool with ice packs or peas.
Gentle mobility such as taking your knees to your chest or tilting your pelvis.
Manual therapy including soft and deep tissue massage and joint mobilisations.
Acupuncture or dry needling, click here to learn more.
Medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen are more effective than opioids for most back pain

Long term pain relief:

In a few cases it may be a longer journey to recovery. A physiotherapist can help you make a plan to find a way through it. When pain continues for a long period of time your nervous system can become more sensitive and make normal activities feel painful, even though they are not harmful. Hands on treatment can become less helpful and may even you’re your pain worse. The best treatment in these cases is exercise. Having the guidance and reassurance from a physiotherapist to know that you are doing the right things and the support to keep going can be invaluable.

For long term or chronic back pain it is important that you have:

A physical activity that you enjoy – any activity that is can be done gently and that you can progress at your pace will be helpful. If you enjoy it, you will be more motivated to keep at it over the journey to recovery, which might be slow.

A self-managed programme, supported by your physiotherapist – for you to feel in control of your progress so that you can build confidence

Specific goals that you care about working towards – to help your motivation it must be a goal that you want to achieve. Yoga and Pilates are good exercises because they have an emphasis on relaxation, flexibility and strength. But if you enjoy doing something else you might find that relaxes you more.

Related Articles:

Is bending my back dangerous?
How can Physiotherapy help sciatica?
Do I need a scan for my back pain?

If you would like to discuss anything further with one of the Flawless Physio team please get in touch.
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Feel good. Move well. Be better!

Very knowledgeable physio Team! Was in London on a business meeting and ended up visiting James for some urgent treatment on my lower back. Delighted with the service. James put me at ease straight away. His treatment was paramount in getting me through what was a hectic weekend. Could not recommend enough. Will definitely be back when in London again!
Funky Inflatable Co.
Funky Inflatable Co.
17:29 11 Sep 18
Went to "Flawless Physio" two weeks ago for back pain that I'd been carrying for months. Three sessions later, it's all gone! The staff was very pleasant, professional and gave me a series of simple exercises to do at home. I definitely recommend them. I'll be back, hopefully not too soon ;)
Charles Muzard
Charles Muzard
13:04 24 Sep 18
I was recommended to see James by my consultant following surgery to my ankle. He was extremely professional and knowledgable. He motivated me throughout the process and I have now returned to long distance running thanks to his help. I would recommend his services to anyone
David Burns
David Burns
19:32 08 Sep 18
Awesome team. I ended up having to seek out treatment when my back went into spasm (on going problem) whilst down visiting friends. I saw James and he was very professional and through with his treatment. More importantly he gave me a better understanding about what was going on and how to manage my injury in the future. Highly recommended!
James Tatham
James Tatham
08:03 20 Sep 18
I received treatment from Vicky for a very stiff and painful neck, possibly brought on by tension. I felt confident that my therapist was knowledgeable. The service was very friendly and professional and I felt good progress from the first session already. Vicky recommended some exercises and explained how to do them with very clear diagrams and instructions. I would highly recommend Vicky
Tiziana Guffanti
Tiziana Guffanti
17:23 29 Aug 18
I would highly recommend Flawless Physio. Excellent knowledge/treatment and also brilliant customer care - following up and giving advice. Tailored rehab to suit the type and level of sport as well as lifestyle. My wife & I have been treated by both James & Victoria and they have both been great. Will continue to use for any future injury & rehab.
Joe Gomes
Joe Gomes
19:11 30 Mar 19
I saw Victoria for my dodgy shoulder, and she was brilliant. Very professional And knowledgeable, she really took time to explain what was going on and to treat it. She followed up with me to check I was getting on well with the exercises. She is also really accommodating with timings for appointments. I couldn't recommend more highly, thank you Victoria!
Fiona Hall
Fiona Hall
08:35 27 Mar 19
First class. Had 4 or 5 appointments with Victoria that were always late in the evening, although you wouldn't know it. She took her time, whether that be on soft tissue work, explaining how to do an exercise, or the purpose behind it. A genuine person that wants to help and she clearly knows her stuff.
Jamie Moles
Jamie Moles
21:14 20 Jan 19
Went to flawless physio and vic was great! Training for a marathon and she was very understanding and helpful. Living in the Twickenham area so was in great location! Her specialist knowledge in knee injuries was able to get me back running in two weeks 🏃🏼‍♀️
Ruth Herlihy
Ruth Herlihy
23:44 25 Jan 19
I injured my leg (ITB) training for the Berlin Marathon and then made it far worse it by trying to run it. Victoria has been essential in my recovery, helping me understand how to strengthen the right muscle groups and get back to running. I have been very impressed by the depth of knowledge and insight. This weekend I will run the Cancer Research 10km. Thank you!
Paul Carpenter
Paul Carpenter
17:02 28 Jan 19
Really impressed with the service provided at Flawless Physio. Vicky was knowledgeable, professional and her invaluable treatment and advice got me to the start of this year’s marathon when I’d had to stop running with 8weeks to go. Without the advice and care I received at Flawless Physio, at best I’d have limped my way round the course and at worst, not been able to take part at all. Definitely recommend!
Katy Gomes
Katy Gomes
11:03 30 May 19
James helped resolve a hamstring injury that had troubled me for the best part of a year. I'll certainly use Flawless Physio for any future issues. Highly recommended.
Sandeep C
Sandeep C
18:02 30 Apr 19