Back & Neck Pain

Back and neck pain are called a variety of different names, including sciatica, lumbago, and general backache. In 2019, the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare reported that around 4 million Australians were affected by back pain.

Signs of severe back and neck pain

Neck and back pain can present in a variety of different ways. It may be accompanied by numbness or sharp shooting pains in the legs, tingling in the area above and below your knees, headaches and migraines, arm numbness and tingling. ­­­These symptoms may become more severe when changing position to sit, stand, or recline. If symptoms begin to interfere with your day-to-day life and stop you from engaging in your regular activities, it’s best to consult a medical professional.

Risk factors

Plenty of factors can increase an individual’s risk of developing neck and back pain. Luckily, many are influenced by environmental factors and can be minimized with proper changes to your lifestyle. To minimise your risk of developing back pain, you can avoid becoming excessively overweight, maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle, and ensure that you maintain good posture.


Back and neck pain are most commonly caused by overuse and trauma, although genetics, illness, and lifestyle factors can also play a role. Imaging is essential to determine the cause of neck and back pain. Your GP or healthcare professional will usually recommend an MRI to assess the cause of discomfort, but an x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan or other method of diagnostic imaging may also be used to better understand your pain.


Depending on your individual symptoms and circumstances, your specialist will make a decision on which approach will work best for you. A conservative method of treatment will generally be recommended wherever possible, which may include physiotherapy and exercises, anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, hydrotherapy, hot or cold packs, acupuncture, or a mixed variety of these.

If conservative treatments are not effective, a surgical course of action may be suitable. Your specialist may recommend procedures such as microdiscectomy, laminectomy, total disc replacement or fusion to rectify the cause of pain.

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