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  • Do you have any back problems?

    You’re not alone. Over 80% of the Swiss population experience back pain at least once in their lives. The first problems often occur at a young age. We show you which are the most common back complaints, how you can relieve the pain – and how you can save on treatment costs.

    Overview of most common complaints

    Specific back pain

    Some back complaints have an identifiable cause: for example, a slipped disc, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, scoliosis or Bekhterev’s disease (ankylosing spondylitis).

    Non-specific back pain

    However, 85% of back pain does not have a clearly identifiable cause. Sitting for long hours, lack of exercise, undue strain and weak muscles lead to painful tension.

    Tips to help with tension

    The most common cause of back problems is muscle tension. What causes this and how to alleviate it.

    Tackling back pain with COMPLETA

    COMPLETA supplementary insurance provides benefits for the prevention and treatment of back problems.

    Health promotion

    COMPLETA covers 75% of the costs of health-promoting fitness courses such as strength training, yoga or back exercises, up to a maximum of CHF 200 per year.

    Complementary medicine

    Complementary treatment such as massages, osteopathy and acupuncture can help with back pain. With COMPLETA, you receive 75% of the costs of outpatient treatment and 100% of the costs of inpatient treatment, up to a maximum of CHF 5,000 per calendar year.

    More about COMPLETA

    Treating back problems yourself

    Sleeping position

    While sleeping, your spine should be in a neutral position. Lying on your back is considered to be particularly healthy. Sleeping on your side also eases the strain on your spine, but only if you have the right pillow and mattress. You should avoid sleeping on your stomach.

    Ergonomics in the workplace

    Set the height of the chair so that your feet are flat on the floor. Hip and knee joints should form a 90-degree angle. Your elbows should rest on the table without you needing to raise your shoulders. The ideal distance between your eyes and the screen is one arm’s length.


    Stay active and get exercise. Do this even of you are suffering a lot of pain. Stretch gently, strengthen your back muscles, go for a walk – do what you can.

    Pain medication

    Medication such as anti-inflammatories can help with severe and debilitating pain. Consult your doctor if the painkillers do not help or the pain lasts for too long.


    Take a bath, use a hot water bottle or a heat patch, go for a walk in the sun – heat relaxes the body and mind and relieves pain.


    Give yourself and your back time. Most back problems disappear by themselves after a few days or weeks.

    Back problems still persisting?

    When you need a medical assessment and which specialists can help.

    Exercise helps combat pain. Get tips and learn efficient back exercises to do at home.

    The Helsana Coach app helps you achieve your personal goals. You will be supported with tips and activities for exercise, nutrition and mindfulness.

    Order our free Ratgeber issue on backs or any other health topic here.

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