"The National Back Pain Helpline" currently offers the only telephone information and advice service in the UK catering for people with low back pain, neck pain, sciatic pain (sciatica) and other spine related disorders, who want to speak directly to fully qualified practicing clinicians specialising in back pain. We also offer a free email service and exhibit at exhibitions and shows such as "The Back Show" where people can consult with our clinicians for free.
The National Back Pain Helpline was launched in July 2008 by a multidisciplinary group of healthcare professionals seeking to educate poeple how to look after their spine and to promote the highest standards of personalised care for back pain sufferers. Back pain is a complex issue that is not always managed in the ideal way, it's causes and effects vary from one individual to another, often meaning people seek help from a variety of sources with varied success. We endeavour to unraval these complexities, we provide training to employers, GPs and other primary care staff on preventing, assessing and caring for back pain. We aim to provide the inside story on treating back pain that will enable patients to be put in touch with the right solution for them, this means looking to good evidence based practice but at the same time being realistic and understanding the subtleties that occur between individual patients and individual practitioners.
Most of our services are offered to the public for free, we are not an official charity (yet) but our aims are charitable. At the present time we receive no government grants or funding, currently all our clinicians offer their time for free. If you would like to make a donation so that we can continue to expand our services, please get in touch via email (Thank You).
IN THE NEWS RECENTLY
1st Nov 2011: A study reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that a 12 week Yoga programme is more effective for chronic low back pain sufferers than "more conventional methods".
National Back Pain Helpline comment: This study needs putting into context before everyone with chronic back pain embarks on a course of sessions at their local Yoga centre. The study is small one, only 156 participants and has not featured in any of the major medical journals such as Spine or The Lancet. The course of yoga featured in the study was conducted by advanced teachers and was presumably designed to specifically cater for people with low chronic back pain, unlike the average high street yoga class. The control group actually involved a number of different interventions making comparison to any one of these interventions difficult. What can perhaps be inferred from this study is that yoga, like many forms of structured exercises is better than doing nothing but this does not mean that it is necessarily the best thing for everyone with chronic low back pain.
Chronic low back pain refers to a variety of potential pathologies from muscular problems, disc problems and other degenerative conditions. For some sufferers certain yoga moves and positions could potential aggravate their individual condition. For example patients with chronic disc problems, such as disc tears and bulges (slipped discs) might be made worse by extreme bending forward movements, whereas those with facet joint arthritis (and / or spondylolisthesis) would need to be careful about end ranges of lumbar extension (arching the lower spine backwards).
Our advice for people with low back pain who are wondering whether to try yoga is to seek personalised advice from a practitioner who has a special interest and experience in treating back pain, such as an Osteopath, Chiropractor, Chartered Physiotherapist or Spinal Consultant (doctor / surgeon).