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Back Pain: Britain’s Unseen Crisis

Posted on 1st March 2019 by

back pain itv

It was very refreshing to finally see some positive, mainstream media coverage about back pain on ITV last night.

For so long now, there has been much scaremongering, misinformation and fear surrounding the best way to manage back pain and unfortunately this has become ingrained in people’s minds. Professionals like ourselves, who see people with back pain day in day out, have been battling to dispel the myths surrounding back pain for so long. So, maybe the message is finally getting through!

So, what were the key messages that the programme promoted?

  • Surgery is often not the answer. For the vast majority of people it’s about rehab getting active and getting fit. Less than 1% of people with back pain might be considered for surgery.
  • 1 in 5 people who have an X-ray or scan for back pain do so unnecessarily. Having a scan when you don’t need it may actually make things worse, as normal signs of ageing can be misinterpreted. An MRI scan is not always needed to find out what’s going on, it’s not a picture of pain, it’s a picture of normal ageing changes.
  • It’s not easy to uncover what causes back pain.
  • There isn’t a quick fix solution.
  • Painkillers and rest are no longer recommended treatments for back pain.
  • Our progressive lack of movement and activity are a key factor in our back pain epidemic.
  • Spines LOVE movement!
  • We need to incorporate movement throughout the day into our lives, NOT just in intensive bursts of exercise like going to the gym, for a run or an exercise class.
  • The back is a strong and robust structure, we need to trust it and not be afraid of pain.
  • Sedentary lifestyles must be tackled in childhood to create her;thy lifelong habits and help prevent back pain. Keeping fit and healthy at an early age might be a way of future proofing our backs.

Some Back Pain Facts:

  • There are almost 10 million people in the UK suffering with lower back pain
  • It’s one of there most common reasons for days taken off work
  • Back pain accounts for over 30 million lost working days a year
  • Back pain affects up to 80% of us

You can watch ITV’s Tonight – Back Pain: Britain’s Unseen Crisis here until the end of March 2019.

Read more about back pain

Low back pain & sciatica, the latest NICE guidelines

Help I’ve got back pain, what should I do?

How to live an active, healthy lifestyle free from back pain



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