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CSP responds to Daily Mail back pain article 13 Jan 2009

15 January 2009 - 2:30pm

A letter has been sent to the editor of the Daily Mail regarding their article 'Back pain: what really works'


The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) was disappointed to see the negative comments made about physiotherapy as a profession and some of the treatments physiotherapists offer to treat back pain (Back pain: what really works, 13 January 2009). It seems inaccurate and irresponsible that physiotherapy appears on the ‘ineffective’ list, when in fact physiotherapy uses a number of treatments that are identified in the ‘effective’ list.

Low back pain is indeed a very common and costly health disorder. What complicates the issue is that with over 200 different causes, it is almost impossible to give a blanket classification of what treatment works and what doesn’t.

Physiotherapists treat and manage low back pain with thorough examination and assessment, followed by a package of care designed specifically for that particular patient’s needs and carried out in partnership with the patient.

Evidence shows that this multi-modal care, which commonly includes mobilisation and manipulation, tailored exercise, education and advice, is effective for treating low back pain.


‘Gold-standard’ clinical trials do not always represent contemporary practice, and instead it would be more useful to look at the growing body of research involving patients who have received specific packages of care, which indicates exactly what aspects of the treatment patients feel have been beneficial and why.

Jill Higgins

Director of Practice and Development

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy


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