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Back Pain Fact Sheet

Information sheet

Back pain of one kind or another affects millions of people in the UK each year. The causes can be varied and complicated, but the most common kind of back pain experienced is 'non specific' lower back pain and it is experienced by around 80% of adults at some stage in their lives. Non specific lower back pain tends to be caused, not by serious damage or disease, but by sprains, muscle strains, minor injuries, or a pinched or irritated nerve.

This kind of back pain can be triggered by everyday activities: awkward bending, lifting, twisting, coughing, sneezing, muscle tension, over-stretching or driving for long periods without a break. Accidents in the home, at work, during sport, or when driving (including whiplash) are also common causes.

Non specific does not mean non painful and the pain can range from mild to severe. Typically, the pain is in one area of the lower back, but sometimes it spreads to the buttocks or thighs. The pain is typically eased by lying down flat, and is often made worse if you move your back, cough, or sneeze.

The pain is often due partly to inflammation surrounding a muscle injury, and can be treated by a number of different treatments. It is also advised that you should try and keep active with as often inactivity can cause further problems.

Once back pain has subsided it is important to look at what may have caused the pain and try to prevent it occurring in the future. It may be that you have to look at you posture, work on strengthening exercises in the gym or simply pick up objects with more care. Often just a little change to your everyday life can help avoid further damage.

Emu oil

Emu oil is a 100% natural remedy that has been used in Aboriginal medicine for centuries. The oil has now become famous around the Globe for its powerful soothing properties and its popularity as one of the most effective natural remedies available is growing quickly.

There have now been several studies published in leading journals that have looked at emu oil's ability to reduce inflammation and swelling (1-4). The results have been very positive with all the studies showing an overall significant reduction in inflammation with the application of emu oil and in some cases the reduction in swelling was seen to be more effective than that seen with commonly prescribed drugs.

Because emu oil has a similar fatty acid composition to that of human skin it is quickly absorbed and thus can reach its target area more effectively when rubbed into the skin. Emu oil is suitable for use as a muscle and joint rub by those of all ages and skin types.


 1. Lopez A, Sims DE, Ablett RF, Skinner RE, Leger LW, Lariviere CM; Jamieson LA, Martinez BJ, Zawadzka GG Effect of emu oil on auricular inflammation induced with croton oil in mice. Am J Vet Res. Dec;1999;60 (12):1558-1561
 2. Whitehouse MW, Turner AG, Davis CKC, Roberts MS Emu Oil(s): A source of non-toxic transdermal anti-inflammatory agents in aboriginal medicine. Inflammopharmacology. March,1998;6(1) 1-8
 3. Snowden JM, Whitehouse MW Anti-inflammatory activity of emu oils in rats. Inflammopharmacology-1997;5(2)127-132
 4. Snowden JM., O'Malley PJ. Ellis TM Emu Oil It's Anti-Inflammatory Properties. A report for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, October 1999

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