You can buy these from a pharmacy, supermarket or high-street chemist without a prescription. However, paracetamol and NSAIDs aren't suitable for everyone, so check the box or leaflet to see whether you can take the medicine first.
Speak to a pharmacist if you're not sure.
Applying a warm compress to your back can also provide short-term relief from pain. You can buy heat patches from your local pharmacy, but a hot water bottle will work just as well.
If your pain doesn’t improve with non-prescription painkillers and heat, your doctor may also prescribe a muscle relaxant or a stronger type of painkiller.
If your doctor prescribes a strong painkiller or muscle relaxant, they will usually only give you a short course as you can become dependent on strong painkillers if you take them for a long period of time.