DEAR DEIDRE: I’VE had to stop my career as a barber for now because of chronic back pain.

I’m not trained to do anything else but the problem in my lower back was so debilitating, it was all I could do to not scream out when my customers were in the chair.

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I’m 42 and I’ve had X-rays and acupuncture.

I’ve been to sports therapists and physiotherapists but nothing has helped me.

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Right now I feel so miserable about life.

I’ve got nothing to look forward to but medication and trying to get comfortable.

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DEIDRE SAYS: I am so sorry. Back pain can be all-consuming so it’s understandable that this is getting you down.

Talk to your GP about a referral to a specialist who will be able to prescribe medication and gentle exercise.

A cushioned mat to stand on at work rather than hard flooring can help, as well as a stool to take the strain away when cutting hair.

For further advice, talk with Pain Concern, (, 0300 123 0789) for other tips to keep you working and pain-free.

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