Back Pain & Physiotherapy

Back Pain is an extremely common complaint. There is a lot of conflicting advice as to the ‘best way to treat back pain’ and it can be difficult to know what to do for the best. Expensive treatment protocols which require you to commit to weeks of hands on therapy, supports, braces, creams, rubs and gels that all claim to ‘cure’ your pain are based on out-dated knowledge and clever marketing.

Back pain is one of the more common complaints that we see here at Peak Physio & Fitness and while no two patients are the same, there are some general themes when it comes to advice regarding back pain.The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy gives the following guidance:

  • Your back is stronger than you may think
  • You rarely need a scan and it can do more harm than good
  • Avoid Bedrest
  • You should not fear bending or lifting
  • Exercise and activity reduce and prevent back pain
  • Painkillers will not speed up your recovery
  • Surgery is rarely needed
  • Try to get good quality sleep
  • You can have back pain without any damage or injury

If managed correctly, almost all episodes of back pain are very short lived. Chartered Physiotherapists are experts in providing advice, guidance and treatment for back pain based on the best available evidence. A prompt and thorough assessment will identify the nature of your pain, allowing the right steps to be put in place to get you back in action!

An initial Physiotherapy appointment at Peak Physio & Fitness costs £38. We have appointments available Mon – Sat. In most cases you will be seen within a week and you do not need a referral.

Do I need Sports Massage or Physiotherapy?

It’s a question that often arises when people contact us to make a booking. Often the answer is simple but there can be a grey area.

Sports Massage

Firstly, let us consider sports massage. The term ‘Sports Massage’ can be a bit misleading. You don’t have to be a sportsperson to have a sports massage! The primary purpose of sports massage therapy is to help alleviate the stress and tension which builds in the body as a result of physical activity. Physical activity may not necessarily be sport, it might be sitting at a desk all day or movingheavy boxes during a house move. Sports massage tends to be deeper and more firm handed than other forms of massage. It is based on the various elements of Swedish massage and often incorporates a combination of other techniques involving stretching, compression, friction, and trigger point release. A skilled therapist will bring together a blend of techniques, knowledge and advice to work effectively with the client.


Physiotherapists might use sports massage as a treatment technique to address a particular injury based on assessment and diagnosis of that problem. Interestingly not all Physiotherapists are equipped with the skills to deliver a sports massage treatment. It is usually a post-graduate skill that they acquire. Physiotherapists may often refer a patient to a sports massage therapist as part of their treatment plan.

But I still haven’t answered the initial question – Physio or Sports Massage?

In the event of a specific injury or an undiagnosed pain the correct choice of health professional would be Physiotherapist. As part of the management of an ongoing problem or to prevent the build-up of muscular stress or strain, then sports massage therapy is the way to go.

At Peak Physio & Fitness we are lucky enough to have both Physiotherapists with massage skills and a highly qualified sports massage therapist as part of our team. Timely and pro-active sports massage treatments can actually reduce the risk of overuse injuries (soft tissue stress) and prevent the need for reactive physiotherapy sessions to address actual soft tissue damage.

Choosing the right practitioner

Physiotherapists should be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).  The HCPC is an independent, UK-wide regulatory body responsible for setting and maintaining standards of professional training.

Sports Massage therapists unlike Physiotherapists do not have anational regulatory body but look for a minimum of a level 3 qualification to more confident of an appropriately skilled practitioner.