Heart of England launches back pain video to promote self-help

Heart of England NHS Trust has launched a video animation with the twin aims of helping people with back pain and reducing the need for hospital treatment.


‘Keeping moving’ is the video’s key message

CSP member Julie Hunter, the trust’s therapy lead for planned care acute and community services, was the driving force behind the project.

She said: ‘Evidence has shown that if we can encourage people with acute back pain to keep moving it will usually resolve within six weeks, unless there are other underlying factors.’

The animation conveys the message ‘you are the best person to make your back better’. If the back pain is new, you do not need to seek advice from your GP or a therapist, and x-rays and scans are not normally needed because most people recover over time, it says.

It illustrates NHS-approved advice for easing back pain, including keep moving, find a comfortable position, take simple painkillers and anti-inflammatory tablets.

Links to the animation are available on the websites of the trust and Solihull clinical commissioning group.

Ms Hunter said: ‘The story for the cartoon was put together by myself with some patient champions and then I was able to discuss with medical illustrators what I wanted to include to represent the narrative – it is my voice which tells the story.

‘We consulted patients for their opinions about what could be included and we consulted the CSP and the National Spinal Pathfinder Programme before developing the video.’

She added that although the message was simple, the more patients took note, the better their recovery would be and the less likely they would need to come into hospital.

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