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Help at hand: new resources to tackle back pain

CSP members have a new range of resources to tackle myths surrounding low back pain, says Helen Preston.

Last year’s CSP back pain myth buster campaign gave us resources to deliver simple, accessible information about a condition that most of us experience at some point.
 
As a member of the working group behind that project, it was heartening to know how many waiting room walls featured the posters and how widely-used the leaflets have been. 
 
But as the politicians show us every day during the election campaign, you need to keep on delivering a message in order for it to get through.
 
That’s why Chris Newton from the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Mary O’Keeffe from the University of Limerick and I have worked with the CSP to deliver some further resources we can use with our patients. There is another leaflet, ‘10 things you need to know about your back’, and a one-minute animation for sharing on social media or showing on waiting room screens (if you have one). These deliver evidence-based advice to reassure, inform and guide the general public on this most common of conditions.
 
But I think the new resources, following on from the latest National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance on low back pain, give us another opportunity to reflect on our practice. Are we doing all we can to use language with patients that they find empowering and reassuring? Are we doing everything we can to convey to patients that 98 per cent of cases are not serious or due to anything dangerous? That they probably don’t need surgery or a scan?
 
And are we ensuring we screen properly for red flags to catch the two per cent where there is something more serious going on? These resources, and the accompanying pages on the CSP website, will hopefully spark those discussions in workplaces and on social media. That way we can continue to be the leading, go-to profession to advise and treat this most common of problems.
 
  • Helen Preston is lead physiotherapist and director, Prestons Health, Peterborough, and a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s leadership development programme. 

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Article Information

Author(s)

Helen Preston Lead physiotherapist and director, Prestons Health, Peterborough

Issue date

17 May 2017

Volume number

23

Issue number

09
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