How to look after your back

Is back pain the main cause of days off work?

In the UK, 15 million working days were lost to back pain in 2013. It is the main cause of long-term sickness absence.

The key thing is to keep active. Immobility weakens muscles and range of movement.

Think about your back when staying in the same position for some time or lifting. 

Lift with a straight back and with the load close to your waist. Distribute weight evenly and know your limits.

Exercise will both prevent and reduce back pain. If you’re overweight, lose some. Over-the-counter painkillers can help in the short term but if back pain persists, see your GP. 

The NHS Choices website has an online back-pain guide.

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This content is wholly based on the Men's Health Forum's The Man Manual which was prepared in line with the NHS England Information Standard of which the MHF is a member. Follow the links for more information or to buy copies.


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