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For patients suffering from mild back or neck pain, over-the-counter pain killers and anti-inflammatory medication and gentle exercise will provide relief in the vast majority of cases. Supplementary physiotherapy or osteopathy treatment (with the option of acupuncture) can also be effective in providing rapid relief.
Severe back pain and/or sciatica developing within the previous three months, is classed as ‘acute’ back pain. This includes pain in the lower and upper back, shoulder, neck and / or accompanying arm and leg pain (including sciatica).
Back pain lasting more than three months is classed as ‘chronic’ pain. It is often progressive and the cause can be difficult to determine. It usually requires a different treatment path to acute back pain.
Neuropathic pain is generated by nervous tissue itself. It is a disordered response to nerve injury of either the central nervous system (spine and brain) or peripheral nervous system (in areas of the body beyond the spine and brain). In appropriately selected patients, delivering mild electrical stimulation (neuromodulation) can be effective in changing nerve activity. Additionally, drugs to relieve pain or restore function can also be effective.
Joint & muscle pain are usually the result of an injury or sprain, or underlying conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Joint pain can occur in one or more joints, can cause extreme discomfort and can seriously impact on quality of life.
The above conditions can be treated through a range of procedures or treatments, please see our section on treatment options for more information.