A dull or strong ache in the lower back that gets more painful when you move and may stop you straightening up into your full posture. The pain can be central or on either or both sides of the spine. You may find that the pain radiates down into the buttocks, the back of the thigh or even the lower leg.
Back or neck pain is caused by damage to a muscle, ligament, disc, nerve or bone, which will normally have happened following a simple movement like bending forwards or twisting the back. Damage like this can also happen after more complex and forceful movement.
Your doctor will ask you about the symptoms and then examine the affected area. They will sometimes use an X-ray, CT scan or MRI to make or confirm a diagnosis.
To begin with the treatment will focus on bringing down the pain. Your doctor might suggest ways you can change your day-to-day activities, and may also suggest anti-inflammatories, spinal traction, electrotherapy treatment or taping of the lower back.
To receive treatment you will be referred to a recommended physiotherapist. Once the pain has died down, your doctor will give you some stretching and strengthening exercises to reduce the chances of the pain coming back.