Early back pain

This is a one off group session for people who have back pain with or without leg pain.

There are usually eight people in each group.

The session lasts an hour and covers:

  • Basic anatomy of the spine including discs and nerves
  • Common causes of back pain
  • Overview of the most commonly prescribed  painkillers
  • Pain relief options other than medication i.e hot/cold packs and TENS machines
  • Specific gentle exercises for back pain.
  • Advice on exercising in general - e.g. sport, yoga, swimming

During the last 15 minute of the session, you are guided through exercises lying on a mat and standing, so please wear something soft and comfortable for this.

At the end of the session, you will be encouraged to try the gentle specific exercises for the back twice a day for four weeks.

If you are feeling well enough, general exercise is also encouraged during this four-week period.

If you are still having issues after four weeks, you are encouraged to phone the Physiotherapy Department to make a one-to-one appointment with a physiotherapist for further treatment.


Your GP can refer you directly to this group.

Orthopaedic or MATS (Musculoskeletal Assessment and Treatment Service) consultants may also recommend that you attend the Early Back Group

Why you might be referred to the Early Back Group

Most forms of back pain are not serious and do not need X-rays, MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) scans or lots of hands-on treatment.

Evidence shows us that physical management including exercise to improve the movement, strength and function of the back has a better outcome than medical management (operations, injections) for the majority of back pain.

That is why you will have been recommended to attend.

Cancelling your place

If you have been referred to the class but do not wish to attend, then please contact us (please see below) so we can allocate your place to another patient.

Class times and contact details

Day Time Location Contact telephone number
Tuesday 1.30pm-2.30 pm
Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete paperwork
Physiotherapy Department,
Ground Floor,
Great Western Hospital
(please see Floor plans)
01793 605093
Wednesday 9.45am-10.45 am
Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete paperwork
West Swindon Health Centre
(please see Service locations)
01793 696642
Friday 9.45am-10.45 am
Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete paperwork
West Swindon Health Centre
(please see Service locations)
01793 696642


This is a video containing general information and exercises for patients with back pain.

If you have any concerns, please  contact the Physiotherapy department.

Further information/contact

Early Back Group Programme Co-ordinator
Tel: 01793 696642

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