If you suffer from back pain, and also have numbness or tingling around your genitals or buttocks, you should contact your GP immediately, according to the NHS.
You should also seek medical attention if you lose bladder or bowel control, experience chest pain, have a particularly high fever, or if you find a swelling in your back.
Back pain can be caused by an injury, a slipped disc, or a sciatica – a nerve irritation.
It’s recommended to see your GP if the pain doesn’t start to improve after a few weeks, or if it gets worse over time.
“Most people worldwide will experience back pain during their lifetime,” said the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
“It can be disabling and worrying but it is very common and rarely dangerous.”
Only about two per cent of back pain patients receive any medical treatment, research has revealed.
If you aren’t sent for a scan by your GP or doctor, you should see it as a good sign, the society added.
Staying as active as possible will help to relieve the symptoms of backache.
Resting for long periods is likely to make the pain worse.
Walking, swimming, yoga and pilates may help to reduce some of the pain, the NHS said.
Hot and cold compression packs could relieve short-term pain. A bag of frozen peas would work, too.
The best way to prevent back pain from rearing its head is to avoid sitting for too long in the same position.
Adults are advised to do about 150 minutes of exercise a week, and recommended to take care when lifting heavy objects.
More than 30 million working days were lost through musculoskeletal problems last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.