What are the symptoms of back strain?

You are likely to feel pain in the small of your back (the lumbar region), in one or both buttocks, and possibly your thighs. You may find your back is stiff and difficult to move, perhaps because of associated muscle injury or tightness. If you take care, full recovery can happen in days or weeks. You may suffer from nerve root pain (sciatica), which can extend down into the leg and even into the foot. Less common symptoms are pins and needles or numbness. Again, full recovery is usual, though it may take a little more time, perhaps a month or two.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

What is WorkSmart?

A career coach that works for everyone.


Enjoy bite-sized activities delivered to you every week.

Lightbulb brain

Equip yourself with essential skills to be the best you yet.


Get the guidance you need to stay focused and reach your goals.

Worksmart circle