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Do you have low back pain?

Back pain is extremely common. It is most common in people between the ages of 35 and 55.

‘Acute’ and ‘persistent ‘are terms used to describe how long the symptoms last. 

  • Acute back pain lasts less than 6 weeks.
  • Persistent back pain is pain that lasts more than 6 weeks.

Most people will experience acute episodes of back pain, which settle within a few days to six weeks with simple treatment. Some people will have more persistent pain with ‘good’ and ‘bad’ days. 

With any back pain it is important to not get into the vicious cycle of reducing movement due to the pain, which in turn weakens the muscles that become vulnerable to further strain.

Warning: It is important to attend A&E immediately to prevent any long term damage or disability, if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Changes to your normal bladder and bowel habits, e.g. unable to control your bowel or bladder or unable to pass urine.
  • Numbness in your genital or anal area. 
  • Recent inability to achieve an erection or ejaculate, or numbness during intercourse. 

If your symptoms do not improve following six weeks of starting exercises, please call Physio Advice Line on 0300 555 0210.

It is important to attend your GP if:

  • Your back pain came on following a fall or trauma.
  • You have pins and needles, numbness or weakness in your legs.
Low back cover

We have created this advice and exercise booklet to help with easing back pain and preventing further strain/aggravation. You can download, save or print a copy of these exercises by clicking on the image.

Our playlist of videos below demonstrates the exercises that will help you manage your foot/ankle pain.


Please watch the introductory animation at the beginning of the playlist before you start.


Please click on the arrow below to view all videos in this playlist.

  • Aim for 7-10 of repetitions of each exercise initially.
  • However, you may need to start with fewer as comfort allows and gradually build
    up as able.
  • Repeat 2-3 times a day if possible.