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Here at Kensington Physio & Sports Medicine, we have highly specialised physiotherapists who have years of experience treating spinal pain. In particular, our team works with both acute and chronic symptoms.

Back pain and neck pain are common complaints with 80% of adults expected to experience such symptoms within their lifetime.

Causes of back and neck pain

The causes of back and neck pain can vary.  Sometimes injury results from direct trauma that may occur when lifting a heavy object, after a fall or from direct impact, such as a road traffic accident. Other times it may result without obvious cause or from a fairly innocuous movement.   

The good news is that serious disease or injury is very rare with the spine which is inherently strong and difficult to damage. In fact, 95% of spinal pain is diagnosed as ‘non-specific’.

Therefore X-rays or imaging of the spine are not generally necessary as they will not highlight the source of pain or change how we treat you. In the majority of cases, it is likely that a ligament sprain or muscle strain has occurred which cannot be detected with scanning.

Managing your back or neck pain 

Back pain can either be described as acute with only a few weeks duration or persistent with repeated episodes.

In either case, it would be appropriate to be assessed by one of our physiotherapists to help advise you on the best way to manage your symptoms.

The therapist may use a wide variety of techniques to help their patient but usually in the beginning it is important to educate the patient on the best way to move, pace their daily activity and improve their posture.

The following are some of the treatment methods that may be used:

  • Manual therapy
  • Exercises
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Electrotherapy
  • Ergonomic assessment
  • Heat
  • Breathing and relaxation techniques

‘The aim is to help relieve pain and restore normal movement’ 

Prolonged bed rest or avoiding activity tends to worsen symptoms. However appropriate guidance on how to become active again will help considerably. Learning how to manage your own back pain will be the quickest way to recovery! It is important to develop a positive outlook and way for coping with your symptoms. Remember that the level of pain does not equate to harm! 

Painkillers and Anti-inflammatories

Painkillers can be useful if they help you to move better and improve your activity levels. However, they will not cure your pain!  As you start to move better the need for them will generally reduce. It may be best to consult with your Doctor on the appropriate medication for you. Although numerous painkillers can be purchased at most pharmacies or supermarkets.


As mentioned, imaging is rarely required for back pain and should never be carried out as a formality. Occasionally a scan will be performed under the guidance of a consultant but serious pathology is thankfully very rare!  It is most likely you will be referred back to your therapist following imaging to continue with treatment.

What’s the difference between Osteopathy and Physiotherapy?

Osteopathy: Is a form of manual therapy that utilises manipulation and soft tissue techniques with an aim of restoring homeostasis within the human body .

Physiotherapy: Is a branch of medicine that encompasses manual therapy, electrotherapy and rehabilitation to restore and promote function and quality of life.

Why should you see a Physio instead of an Osteopath?

Though there are now many similarities between osteopathy & physiotherapy, the two professions originated from quite different roots, therefore the greatest difference today is found in the ideology and training.

The bottom line is all about the individual. The relationship between the clinician and the patient. The holistic approach in the management of the patient. The main purpose should be in alleviating the pain that inhibits functional ability in a patients everyday life.

Contact Information

If you have any questions and want to know how to help your back or neck pain – then you can contact us here or call 020 7603 0040.

Click here to read about what to expect on your First Day at Kensington Physio »