How to manage lower back pain

Non-specific lower back pain affects a large number of individuals and can hinder daily activities. This type of pain refers to discomfort in the lower back without a specific identifiable cause. That said, an experienced physiotherapist will most likely be able to identify some more specific issues such as muscle spasm. 

Fortunately, there are various effective strategies to manage and alleviate non-specific lower back pain. Here are seven techniques that can provide relief and promote healing, including physiotherapy in Twickenham


Physiotherapy is a key approach for managing non-specific lower back pain. A professional physiotherapist can assess your condition and design a personalised treatment plan. They may use manual therapy techniques, such as joint mobilisation and soft tissue manipulation, to alleviate pain and improve mobility. Additionally, they can guide you through targeted exercises and stretches to strengthen the muscles supporting your spine, promoting long-term pain relief and preventing future episodes.

Pain Medications

Over-the-counter pain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen, can provide temporary relief from lower back pain. These medications help reduce inflammation and alleviate discomfort. Strong analgesics can also be helpful in the short term to help people manage severe pain whilst they practise moving painful structures. However, it’s important to follow the recommended dosage and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications.

Exercise and Physical Activity

Regular exercise and physical activity play a vital role in managing non-specific lower back pain. Engaging in low-impact exercises – such as swimming, walking, or cycling – helps strengthen the muscles in your back, improve flexibility, and enhance overall physical well-being. Additionally, exercises that target the core muscles, such as abdominal and back exercises, can provide stability and support to the spine. Start with gentle exercises and gradually increase intensity and duration under the guidance of a healthcare professional or certified trainer.

Posture Correction

Maintaining proper posture is crucial for preventing and managing lower back pain. Poor posture places excessive strain on the back which can exacerbate pain. Practise good posture while sitting, standing, and lifting heavy objects. Sit with your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and feet flat on the floor. When standing, distribute your weight evenly on both feet and avoid slouching. Using ergonomic chairs or adding lumbar supports can provide additional back support and help maintain proper spinal alignment. Sit to stand desks can also be very helpful to reduce overall sitting times.

Heat and Cold Therapy

Applying heat or cold packs to the affected area can help alleviate lower back pain. Cold therapy (using ice packs) may reduce inflammation and numb the area, providing immediate relief. Heat therapy, on the other hand, promotes blood flow, relaxes muscles, and eases stiffness. Experiment with both methods to determine which works best for you. Remember to always use a barrier, such as a towel, between your skin and the heat or cold source to prevent burns.

Ergonomic Work Environment

If you experience lower back pain, consider making necessary adjustments to your work environment. Inform your employer about your condition as they have an obligation to provide a safe and supportive workspace. Request ergonomic modifications, such as adjustable chairs, standing desks, or proper lifting techniques training. Making these changes can reduce the strain on your back and contribute to better pain management.

Lifestyle Modifications

Making certain lifestyle modifications can significantly contribute to managing lower back pain. For example, maintaining a healthy weight can reduce stress on your spine. We also suggest quitting smoking as smoking can impair blood flow and delay healing. To allow your body to recover and heal, ensure you get sufficient restful sleep. Finally, practising stress management techniques, such as deep breathing or mindfulness, can minimise tension and its impact on your pain perception.

Get in Touch 

Non-specific lower back pain can be effectively managed throughvarious strategies. Incorporating physiotherapy, using pain medications as directed, engaging in regular exercise, maintaining proper posture, utilising heat and cold therapy are all helpful techniques. Our professional physiotherapists are always on hand to help. Call us today on 020 8898 1231 to learn more.