Almost all of us will experience episodes of back pain, but usually it will naturally improve with pain killers and rest within about 2 weeks. 

Nevertheless, 2% of workers take a day off every 4 weeks for back pain and 52 million work days are lost annually . 1.4 million people will annually experience back pain 95% of them will have simple mechanical pain, ( ref 1) 4% of those patients will have nerve root compression and might be suitable for surgery.(ref 2)

We might be told that the back pain is due to 'wear and tear' or arthritic degeneration, but these changes are evident on X Rays of the spine in 50% of the population at age 40 and it is more likely that the pain is simply mechanical. 

Simple Back pain responds to common pain killers and strengthening exercises ( ref 2) . Acupuncture has been recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence,(NICE), (ref 3) as effective in managing back pain.

Trigger Points in hip muscles, such as the Gluteals can refer pain to the back region and in the Piriformis muscle can cause referred pain down the leg which is often misdiagnosed as 'sciatica' (ref 4).

Clinical examination of the back and hip reveals if there are any signs of a compressed nerve or a damaged spine, and if there are concerns you will be referred to your GP or a private MRI scan can be organised.

Acupuncture treatment, alongside advice on exercise, pain relief and electrical stimulation like TENS can provide good relief within 4 session. Chronic cases might require long term monthly follow ups


1. PAIN; breaking through the barrier. Chief Medical Officer. CMO 150 years

2. 'Low Mechanical Back Pain', Dr N Kellow. Pulse Clinical 29.9.2010

3. NICE Guidelines. Back Pain 

4. Low Back Pain Dr R Kanner. Pain Management Secrets. 1997. Hanley and Belfus. USA