Back or neck pain

MSK - Medical Advice - Back or neck pain - Top Image
Back and neck pain are common problems affecting many people at some point in their lives.
Although they can be distressing and limit your normal daily activities, most people can recover without the need for medical intervention.
Treatments for back pain will vary depending on how long you have had the pain, how severe it is and your individual needs and preferences. Most cases of back pain that last no longer than six weeks can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers and home treatments.
Paracetamol is effective in treating most cases of back pain. Some people find non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, more effective. A stronger painkiller, such as codeine, is also an option and is sometimes taken in addition to paracetamol.
Whatever the cause of neck pain or a stiff neck, the advice is generally the same to carry on with your normal daily activities, keep active and take painkillers to relieve the symptoms.
Please take a look at our leaflets and other guidance on this page for advice on how you can manage and treat your own back and neck symptoms.
If you feel you need further help, please contact us directly or you ask your GP to refer you to our physiotherapy service.

How to be referred

You can either be referred by your GP or you can self refer. Click here to refer yourself to MSK Physiotherapy.

Contact us

For general physiotherapy queries, please call 020 3224 4789.

For new referral queries, please contact our central bookings team on 020 3316 1111.

For AQP referral queries, please call 020 3224 4692.

For MSK CATS referral queries, please call 020 3224 4744.
For any queries please email

Advice Leaflets

Exercise Videos

Useful Apps

Please click each title to find out more.

NHS 24 MSK Help

Advice on common muscle, back and joint problems:

  • Exercises and video clips to help you get moving safely
  • Information to help with Work Working lives information
  • Reminders to do your exercises and/or attend any appointments
  • A log to keep a note of your progress

NASS Back to Action

The Back to Action app has been specifically designed for people with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) to exercise safely in the gym.


In order to be able to treat pain effectively, pain experts recommend you keep a diary. CatchMyPain allows you to track your pain problem by using detailed drawings and by providing other relevant information. The diary will help you to explain your pain problem to any care provider.

Back Fix

Developed in conjunction with a team of Olympic sports doctors, international physiotherapists (physical therapists) and a spinal orthopaedic surgeon, this smart app provides simple, clear and practical guidelines on how to effectively self-manage your low back pain.

Page last updated: 17 Jul 2017
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