Introduction

Most people suffer from an episode of back pain in their life and thankfully the vast majority of people get better rapidly within a few weeks either naturally or with some physical therapy.

The Back to Health Programme has been developed to support the small number of people who are unfortunate enough that their episode of back pain hasn’t got better as expected and their symptoms are still sufficiently interfering with their day to day lives and affecting their overall wellbeing many weeks into that episode.

Ongoing symptoms of back pain can have a really significant impact on many aspects of people’s lives ranging from simple tasks at home, ability to function at work and ability to participate in social activities and hobbies.

This can have a knock on effect upon relationships with family, friends and colleagues as well as fuelling possible psychological problems such as low mood, anxiety and depression. This can cause a vicious circle of reduced physical activity which can further exacerbate and worsen the back pain symptoms.

Despite there being many advances in medicine over the years, there is often a lot of effort and energy put in to providing treatments for back pain that have no guaranteed good long term outcomes. People often end up receiving increasing levels of medication with the associated side effects, sometimes spinal injections and surgery with no good long term benefits.

This programme seeks to address both the physical and psychological aspects of ongoing back pain and is based on national guidance of best practice (National Institute Clinical Excellence 2009 and 2016).