Close up of man getting back pain treatment from Diclofenac

Back Pain Treatment & Management Methods for You

Share this article


Needing back pain relief is never a walk in the park. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. It can keep you frozen. In one position. On the couch. Inside. Desperately trying not to move a muscle lest you poke and prod the back pain beast.

That’s why getting some back pain relief – and fast! – can feel so urgent. We’re here to help. Whether it’s medication, pain management techniques or home remedies, we’ve gathered all you need to... know about back pain treatments.

Back pain, particularly lower back pain, is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. At one time or another in their lifetime, most people will experience back pain. In fact, 92% of people will have back pain at some point.

Some common causes of back pain include:

  • Strained, pulled, or torn muscles
  • Slipped, or bulging discs
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Trauma after injury, like a fall
  • Skeletal irregularities in the spine
  • Infection

Read More

A man lifting a child in the air without back pain

Back pain treatment

Back pain treatments can take many forms, depending on the type and severity of the back pain you experience. Some treatments to consider are:

  • Medications
  • Physical therapy
  • At home treatments, like exercising, massage, heat patches, and ice packs
  • Surgery

Medications for back pain

Depending on the type of back pain you have and how mild or severe it is, you may want to consider taking medication. All of these work as lower back pain treatments and upper back pain treatments alike. In cases of severe, chronic back pain, your doctor may prescribe you a prescription medication. However, in other cases..., over-the-counter medications may do the trick.

Anti-inflammatory tablets

Anti-inflammatory tablets may be a good place to start when it comes to back pain relief. However, make sure you read the label before taking them as they should be used with caution, especially amongst the elderly.  Make sure you read the label before taking tablets. That way, you can get back to the kind of movement that puts a smile on your face. Like bending down to take some yummy treats out of the oven.


Over-the-counter pain relievers like paracetamol are often used for back pain relief. They are many people’s first go-to because they are often readily available on-hand at home. You may choose to use paracetamol at the onset of back pain. Although you may benefit from something more targeted, such as a topical NSAID, like Voltarol. 

Topical pain relievers

Over-the-counter Voltarol gels are applied to your skin over the affected area. They contain diclofenac, a powerful and effective NSAID, which is absorbed into the skin. The Voltarol range of topical pain relief gels are targeted at the point of pain to relieve aches and pains, and so helps speed up recovery.

Read More

Muscle relaxants

In some cases of mild to moderate back pain, over-the-counter pain relievers may not be enough to get you the relief you want (need!). Your doctor may prescribe a muscle relaxant. Muscle relaxants, as their name implies, relax your muscles so that they can heal. Muscle relaxants can make you dizzy and sleepy.


Some types of anti-depressants can be prescribed as a back pain treatment. The pain relief effects of anti-depressants on back pain are independent of their mood-boosting effects. Anti-depressants are prescribed by a doctor and should only be used according to your health care provider’s instructions.


For chronic back pain that doesn’t respond to other treatments, your doctor might recommend pain-relief injections. Injections should only be administered by a qualified healthcare professional.

Back pain treatment at home

In many cases, back pain management can take place at home, without consulting a doctor.

  1. Rest
    Sometimes, all your sore back needs, is some good rest in order to heal. Lifting heavy objects, stress, sports injuries - all of these are likely culprits when it comes to back pain.  Resting and refraining from these activities can give your back much-needed recovery time. So, kick back. And do…nothing!
  2. Stretch it out
    Stretches are great for both relieving and preventing back pain caused by muscle strains. Added bonus: you can even do them while sitting at your desk or watching tv. Some stretches are targeted for lower back treatment. Others are targeted for upper back pain treatment. Regular stretching routines, like yoga, can be helpful for preventing back pain, as well as treating it. Put together a stretching regimen that works for you and your pain.
  3. Keep it cold
    Applying ice to your sore back can help reduce inflammation. Be sure to wrap your ice pack (or bag of frozen veggies – that works too!) in a thin towel before applying it to your skin.
  4. Mind your posture
    Bad posture is a big contributor to back pain – whether it’s slouching in a chair at dinner or rounding your shoulders to see a phone/computer/tablet screen. Check in with yourself periodically throughout the day to make sure your hips are aligned under your shoulders and that your shoulders are properly rolled back.
  5. Wear good shoes
    Wearing supportive footwear provides a good base for carrying around your body weight and maintaining healthy posture. If you experience back pain, it’s advised to keep your heels to under 2.5 centimeters.
  6. Keep it warm
    Heat can help muscles relax, reducing back pain. Whether you use a hot water bottle at home or go the indulgent route and sit in a hot tub, relaxing your back muscles can help healing.
    Heat patches are a great way of easing back pain. Voltarol Heat Patch is non-medicated and gently warms your muscles, opening them up and relaxing them. Check the label before using Voltarol Heat Patch. 
  7. Exercise
    Being inactive can make back pain worse. Light exercise increases blood flow to the injured area, speeding up healing. When your pain subsides and you feel you can, get in some light exercise. Go for a walk. Swim a few lengths in a pool. Do some yoga. Anything low impact should do the trick. Just remember to go at your own pace and listen to your body. If you feel intense or shooting pain at any time, dial it back.
  8. Massage
    Therapeutic massage can help with back pain relief. Massaging the affected area of your back can relieve pain and restore functionality.

If you are struggling to cope with and manage your back pain, or if it is long lasting, then you should visit your doctor. Your doctor will examine your back and ask you questions about when you started to feel back pain, where the pain is, if it feels better or worse at certain times and whether you have had it before. Together you will put together a back pain treatment plan.

Your doctor may refer you for further tests to determine the cause of your back pain. Your doctor might also share advice on how to relieve your back pain and may recommend pain relievers, the use of heat or ice, and light exercise such as walking.

Voltarol products for back pain relief

If you have back pain, Voltarol may be just the relief you’re looking for. Voltarol has a number of products suitable for relieving back pain, especially from strains or sports injuries – read the labels on the products and talk to your pharmacist to find the right one for you.

Voltarol products for back pain relief include:

Voltarol Back & Muscle Pain Relief 1.16% Gel can help relieve your pain

Voltarol Back & Muscle Pain Relief 1.16%

Find out how Voltarol Back & Muscle Pain Relief 1.16% Gel relieves pain and reduces inflammation to help get you moving again.

Learn More

Buy now

Voltarol Joint & Back Pain Relief 2.32% Gel can help relieve your pain

Voltarol Joint & Back Pain Relief 2.32% Gel

Voltarol Joint & Back Pain Relief 2.32% Gel concentrates relief deep in the joint tissue to fight pain and inflammation all day long, when applied morning and evening.

Learn More

Buy now

Voltarol Heat Patch for drug-free pain relief

Voltarol Heat Patch

Provides up to 24 hours of extended pain relief* (*up to 24 hours of pain relief in lower back pain from second day of treatment).

Learn More

Buy now

How does Voltarol work to relieve back pain?


Voltarol gels for back pain are clinically proven to help beat pain. They contain an NSAID, diclofenac, and you can buy them at supermarkets or from your pharmacist.

Diclofenac works to inhibit prostaglandins, substances in the body that cause pain and inflammation. By reducing their effects, diclofenac helps to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

The gel creates a reservoir of diclofenac when applied as directed, which gives the skin a source of the active ingredient throughout the day for lasting relief of pain and inflammation. The Emulgel technology used in this product helps the gel to penetrate deep through the skin to enhance delivery of the active ingredient, diclofenac, to the site of pain and swelling, making it an effective pain reliever for back pain.

Infographic: What causes back pain?

The Emulgel technology is a unique combination of a gel and cream, which is white in colour and has no strong odour. If you massage the Emulgel into your skin when you are rubbing it in, this motion can provide additional soothing benefits at the site of pain and inflammation!

Voltarol Back & Muscle Pain Relief 1.16% Gel

Contains 1.16% of diclofenac in a gel form and is suitable for 3 to 4 applications a day.

Voltarol Joint & Back Pain Relief 2.32% Gel

Containing more of the active ingredient diclofenac, the formula also has an added permeation enhancer which helps get the active ingredient deep into the tissue and joint area and lasts longer than the 1.16% gel. It only needs to be applied twice a day, morning and evening, for convenient long lasting pain relief.

Heat patches

Voltarol Heat Patch is a non-medicated form of thermotherapy made of flexible, breathable materials that contain natural compounds. Each Voltarol heat patch delivers up to 8 hours of 40°C heat to soothe your back pain. Voltarol for back pain can be as simple as opening up a heat patch and applying it to your skin.

How to use Voltarol for back pain

Voltarol treatment options for back pain are Voltarol gels and heat patches.

Using Voltarol gels

Using Voltarol gels for back pain couldn’t be simpler. Here’s how to use Voltarol gel:

  1. Read the leafelt carefully before using Voltarol Gel
  2. Open your tube of Voltarol gel
  3. Squeeze out an amount ranging in size from a one penny to two pence coin,  depending on the size of the affected area.
  4. Gently rub into the skin above where you are experiencing body pain.
  5. Apply Voltarol gel as indicated on the product label.
  6. Start to regain your joy of movement.

A brace or non-sealed, breathable wrap or sports bandage commonly used for injuries like sprains can be used together with Voltarol gel, but do not apply Voltarol gel under occlusive (i.e. plastic, airtight, or watertight) dressings.

For further details regarding precautions to take when using Voltarol gels or other products, please read the FAQs below, or the product label and leaflet, and if in doubt consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Heat patches for back pain

If you are using Voltarol for back pain, you may want to use our heat patch. How to use a Voltarol Heat Patch:

  • Tear open the sleeve just before you are ready to use the patch.
  • You don’t need to shake the patch to activate it.
  • Remove the plastic backing, then place the patch on the affected area, either back, neck, or shoulders.
  • Make sure you apply the adhesive side firmly to clean, dry skin.
  • Next, feel the heat help soothe your back; it will heat up a few minutes after opening the sleeve and last up to 8 hours.
  • To remove, just peel off slowly from one corner.
  • Voltarol heat patches are single use and can’t be reheated. They shouldn't be cut or allowed to get wet.
An elderly man doing a back-stretching yoga poses - use these back exercises at home

6 home remedies for back pain relief

When back pain has you laid up on the couch, try these at-home techniques


Learn more

Explore Voltarol products for pain relief

Voltarol Joint & Back Pain Relief 2.32% Gel can help relieve your pain

Voltarol Joint & Back Pain Relief 2.32% Gel

Voltarol Joint & Back Pain Relief 2.32% Gel concentrates relief deep in the joint tissue to fight pain and inflammation all day long, when applied morning and evening.

Learn More

Buy now

Voltarol Back & Muscle Pain Relief 1.16% Gel can help relieve your pain

Voltarol Back & Muscle Pain Relief 1.16%

Find out how Voltarol Back & Muscle Pain Relief 1.16% Gel relieves pain and reduces inflammation to help get you moving again.

Learn More

Buy now
Share this article


Health, wellness & your pain

Pain is rarely just physical nor is it always solved by taking medicine alone. Voltarol is your ally in helping you take more control of your pain journey, from the way to sleep, to what you eat, mental wellbeing and complementary pain relief therapies.