Advice for back pain sufferers

New research finds that many back-pain patients aren’t receiving the care they need

The Lancet have published a series of papers on low back pain, calling on medical professionals worldwide to stop offering ineffective and potentially harmful treatments to patients. The research states that people with low back pain are being harmed, not helped, with an over-reliance on scans, surgeries and opioid prescriptions to treat a problem that could be more effectively addressed with self-management and less-invasive physical and psychological therapies.

Low back pain is the leading cause of disability in the world, effecting more than 540 million people.  Disability caused by low back pain has risen by more than 50% since 1990. In the UK, guidelines recommend a combination of physical exercise and advice and support for low back pain patients.

Robin Lansman, spokesperson for the Institute of Osteopathy said, ‘The Lancet papers show rising levels of disability across the world, associated with lower back pain. The authors emphasise that, in many cases, people receive interventions that can actually worsen their condition.’

‘In the UK, low back pain is a burden on both the individual and our health care system which is why the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have produced extensive guidance. The guidance recommends manual therapy as part of an overall package of care for those with low back pain. They also recommend, exercise and self-management and psychological support which osteopaths routinely provide.’

He added ‘The most common reason for a patient to visit an osteopath is for low back pain, it accounts for around 36% of our patient workload. Osteopaths pride themselves on offering individualised care which is tailored to the most appropriate pathway for the patient’

If you are suffering with low back pain, find out how osteopathy can help you by visiting www.iosteopathy.org