24 Mar 2018

Not in a million years!

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An article in the Daily Telegraph (22/3/18) came up with an astonishing statistic. “Back pain costs Britain a million years in lost productivity annually, with GPs signing patient off work too easily”. This was based on a series of reports in the Lancet which rounded on doctors for prescribing painkillers and sometimes surgery, neither of which were supposedly effective, instead of exercise, which achieved better results for many complaints.

Alan Nevies and his colleagues at northlondonosteopaths were convinced that the million year figure must have been a mistake, but it went on to be repeated during the course of the article along with other statistics comparing time lost from work in other countries as result of back pain. Both the United States and Australia did considerably better than the UK in dealing with reducing the amount of working time lost to back ache.

The team at northlondonosteopaths would certainly agree that GPs are not the best people to deal with back ache. Over 70% of the patient list consists of referrals from GPs so it seems that many GPs think so too. Alan Nevies and his colleagues will assess the nature and causes of your particular back ache and offer the appropriate treatment, and often the method and aim of the treatment will be to keep moving as much as is safe and possible. Postural advice and exercises comprise a significant element of the treatment regime for many complaints.