Click to get a quoteCall us on 0800 170 7704

Travel Insurance for Back Problems

If you are thinking of travelling abroad, you need to ensure you have adequate specialist back pain travel insurance. Failing to purchase a medical condition insurance policy could leave you open to paying out for expensive emergency medical and hospital costs, in the event you have a flare up while travelling abroad.

Many standard travel insurance policies exclude cover for pre-existing medical conditions or will decline to offer cover. However, Free Spirit is all about providing specialist travel insurance cover for people with back problems, no matter what age you are.

Polaroid images

What causes back pain?

The back is a complex structure made up of bones, muscles and nerves. Most cases of back pain are not caused by serious damage or disease but by sprains, minor strains and injuries or an irritated nerve.

Back pain can be triggered by everyday activities at home or at work, or it can develop gradually over time as a result of prolonged sitting or standing or even from a poor lifting style.

Here are some of the back pain problems that Free Spirit can cover:

  • Osteoarthritis – is a condition that affects the joints. It is the most common type of arthritis in the UK and around 1 million people see their GP about it every year.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – is a condition that causes pain and swelling in the joints. Hands, feet and wrists are commonly affected, but it can also damage other parts of the body.
  • Sciatica – the sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from the back of your pelvis, through your buttocks and all the way down both legs, ending at your feet. Sciatica can also be caused by a slipped disc.
  • Slipped Disc – also known as a prolapsed or herniated disc is where one of the discs in the spine ruptures and the gel inside leaks out.
  • Degenerative disc disease – is one cause of back and neck pain. Usually the result of the natural aging process, it is also a type of osteoarthritis of the spine.
  • Collapsed disc – is an intervertebral disc that has lost its normal height due to degeneration of its fibrous outer wall.
  • Spinal stenosis – is an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal that may occur in any of the regions of the spine.
  • Spondylolisthesis – occurs when a bone of the lower part of the spine (a vertebra) has slipped out of position and onto the bone below it.
  • Fractures to the back – occur from bone loss caused by conditions like osteoporosis or a trauma to the spine.
  • Osteoporosis – is a condition that affects the bone density, causing them to become weak and fragile and more likely to fracture.

Sometimes back pain develops suddenly for no apparent reason. Some people just wake up one morning with back pain and have no idea what has caused it.

Other causes of back pain could include:

  • Bending for long periods – like gardening, cleaning the car.
  • Incorrect techniques for lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Slouching in chairs – is your work chair at the right position?
  • Twisting awkwardly – remember to move your feet rather than just your back.
  • Driving for long periods without taking a break – this in turn can cause neck pain as well.

Risk factors

Certain risk factors increase your chances of developing back pain. These include:

  • Overweight – carrying extra weight can put pressure on the spine; why not use the BMI healthy weight calculator to find out if you need to lose weight.
  • Pregnancy – the extra weight of carrying a baby can place additional strain on the back.
  • Stress – is thought to cause tension in the back muscles which can result in back pain.
  • Depression – back pain can make people feel depressed, which can sometimes result in weight gain which leads to increased pain and worsening depression.

Why specialist back pain insurance is important

Should you need to cancel your holiday prior to travelling because of your health, Free Spirit’s back pain travel policy can provide cover for your unused travel and accommodation costs. If you have a medical emergency during your holiday, the same policy can provide cover for your medical costs including medical repatriation if necessary.

Travelling companions can also be covered on Free Spirit, whether they have a pre-existing medical condition or not. If you had to cancel your holiday due to your diagnosed back pain, travelling companions included on your policy would also be covered which may not be the case if they had taken out a separate policy elsewhere.

Purchasing a travel insurance policy for back pain

Get a quote

If you have tried to get cover elsewhere but failed – why not try us! Obtaining an instant quote couldn’t be easier. Free Spirit has a fully interactive and easy to use website. Here are some questions we will ask you about your back pain so that you get the travel insurance cover you need:

  • In the last 5 years, has your back problem interfered with activities of daily living?
  • How many medicines do you take for your back?
  • Have you seen a physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath for your back in the last five years?
  • Are you awaiting further investigation or treatment for your back problem?
  • Have you had any unplanned hospital admissions for back problems in the last two years?
  • In the last year have you been given morphine, MST or fentanyl patches to be used at home?
  • If you are aged 16 or over please state how tall you are.

We’re here to help

If you are unsure about anything regarding your back problems travel insurance our frequently asked questions page may have the answers you need. You can also call us in the UK on 0800 170 7704 and our customer services team will be happy to help. We are open Monday to Friday 8am-6pm but closed Bank Holidays.

Peace of mind

Don’t forget, if you arrange your back pain insurance cover as soon as you book your holiday, you will be immediately protected should you need to cancel your trip (terms and conditions apply of course! See the policy wording for full details).

Remember you can also call our 24hr medical emergency assistance helpline from anywhere in the world, to give you the peace of mind protection you need while travelling – just in case!

Click here for full details of our Free Spirit policy wording




  • Testimonials

    Having talked to several companies in this market, I found that Free Spirit was the only one with good medical knowledge. My consultant who was also a…
    T. RothwellKent
    To read reviews click here

  • Ask Mary

    Free Spirit Manager, Mary Holt is a recognised expert in medical screening and in underwriting travel insurance for people with medical conditions. You can read Mary’s Q&As or ask Mary a question directly.
    Read Q&As
    Ask Mary


Last updated: 15th June 2016.