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Relax and stay positive to beat back pain

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Trying to relax is a crucial part of easing the pain of a bad back. This is because muscle tension caused by worrying about your condition may make things worse.

Although it can be difficult, it helps if you stay optimistic and recognise that your pain should get better.

While the pain in your back is very real, how you think and feel about your condition can make it worse. People who manage to stay positive despite their pain tend to recover quicker.

Getting extra help

Most cases of lower back pain improve within a few weeks or months; however, some can take longer to get better.

The longer your back pain continues, the harder it can be to remain positive, that’s why even if your doctor has already ruled out a more serious cause of back pain, you should go back to your doctor if you’re struggling to cope with ongoing back pain.

They may be able to refer you for psychological therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which can help you manage your back pain better by changing how you think about your condition.

Find out more about other ways to manage back pain.

Key points

  • try to stay positive if you have back pain, as this can help you stay relaxed and ease the pain
  • most cases of back pain improve within a few weeks or months, but it can take longer
  • if you find it hard to cope with ongoing back pain, see a doctor. They may refer you to a specialist for further treatment

Date of last review: 24 June 2020

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Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.

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