English for PTA


Back pain is the number one in First World countries when it comes to working days lost every year. Fifty percent of hospital cases in Germany in 2017 were the result of back problems.

Seite 1/1 5 Minuten

Seite 1/1 5 Minuten

The most common causes of severe long-term pain and disability in the EU are musculoskeletal conditions (MSC). The musculoskeletal system provides the body with support, stability, and movement. The prevalence of many MSC and their associated disabilities increases with aging, obesity and lack of physical activity. Whereas in the past employment, such as factory work, was more or less physical, today it is largely sedentary. Sitting is not the only problem: posture and lack of muscle tone also play a role. Male pharmacy customer: Hallo. Do you speak English?

PTA: Hallo, yes I do. How may I help you?
I have a really bad back ache. Do you have any painkillers that you can recommend?

Yes, of course, but first I need to know a little about your problem. If that’s okay with you?
Sure, no problem. Go ahead.

Where exactly do you have the pain?
It’s quite low down actually. Around the spine and hips.

Ok. And does it radiate out in one or both legs?
Now that you ask, it is a bit uncomfortable in my left leg when I walk, or have to stand.

Have you any idea if you might have injured your back in some way?
Not really. Why?

Back pain can be caused by any number of things such as poor posture when sitting or standing, or lifting heavy weights incorrectly. It can also be caused simply by turning suddenly and putting stresses and strains on a certain area. It can also just be bad habits such as telephoning with the phone jammed between your ear and your shoulder. This list is very long!
I see. Well I work in an office and have to sit for very long periods. Yesterday, we had a meeting that went on for hours and I felt a bit stiff when I got up to go home. My neck was especially stiff from having to look at the PowerPoint presentation at an awkward angle.

Do you have a headache? Or did you have a headache after the meeting.
I sure did!

You are quite tall so I think you might often have to look down at people, don’t you?
You’re right there, I’m 6 foot 5 inches, that’s just over 2 metres and it really doesn’t help having to look down!

As far as I can tell, your back pain is from a combination of all those things you told me about. I have a few things that I can recommend. First, there’s this topical gel that you can apply to the affected area.
What about painkillers?

Right! Sorry, I almost forgot. I can recommend this OTC painkiller with lysine. It works quite quickly, so you should have some relief in a short time. We also have this preparation with special active ingredients to facilitate healthy nerves. It usually takes a while to take effect, but it is very good.
Good I’ll try that.

You might also consider talking to a physio who can recommend exercises to help your back. It certainly helped me when I had a problem like yours last year!
That’s a good idea! I’ll definitely do that, thank you. Goodbye!

You can find this article at PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 05/18 on page 89.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker

back painRückenschmerzen
disability Behinderung, bzw. Arbeitsunfähigkeit, Gleichgewichtsstörung
conditions (hier) Leiden, bzw. Beschwerden
radiate outausstrahlen
stresses and strainsBelastungen