Sometimes, immobilisation of the back in a plaster jacket for six weeks, cures the pain, or it may take a special injection to do the trick.
Nevertheless, some backs never get better and we have to resort to surgery. This may involve removing one of the discs, and fixing the spine so that it cannot bend at the affected level.
These "failed backs" are a source of sorrow to the doctor and distress to the patient; no one knows why some backs turn out this way.
What should you do when your back goes? Rest as soon as possible, preferably on a hard bed, and take painkillers for as long as it takes to ease the pain.
Hot baths will help to relax the back, but remember have someone around who can help you if you get stuck.
Back pains that don't get better on this regime after four weeks need looking into. But you must have been to see your doctor about a certificate long before then, so he will guide you through the backache maze.
Many articles taken from 'A word with the doctor', by Dr. John Windsor.