Come and meet the back-pain myth-busters!

Back pain is an increasing problem in the UK.
Back pain is an increasing problem in the UK.
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Myths about the treatment of back pain will be busted at a walk-up event in Bridge Street tomorrow (September 14).

The ‘myth-busting’ campaign has been organised nationally by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and it’s been backed locally by leading city company Prestons Health and the NHS dynamic health community team.

Representatives from those organisations will be on site in Bridge Street from 10am-4pm tomorrow to meet and greet members of the public who may have concerns about back problems.

Studies show the importance of remaining active and continuing with exercise, including weight training where appropriate, to help overcome back pain.

But recent polling has revealed how deep-rooted amongst sufferers fear of movement is. Widely-held myths about back pain are making people fear doing the very activities they need to do

to help them get better.

When asked which activities people would avoid if they had back pain:

46 per cent said bending

53 per cent said twisting

49 said exercise such as running or aerobics

65 per cent said weight training.

All results were slightly higher among the 61 per cent of people who said they had experienced, or currently have, back pain. Opinium surveyed 2,005 adults across the UK.

This new campaign from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy now aims to bust the four biggest myths to help tackle what remains the leading cause of disability and sickness absence from work.

The myths are:

Moving will make my back pain worse

I should avoid exercise, especially weight training

A scan will show me exactly what is wrong

Pain equals damage

The Opinium survey showed nearly four in 10 people believed a scan would show them what was wrong, including 60 per cent of those who had ongoing back trouble.

The reality is that while a scan may sometimes reveal the problem, most often it won’t.

Additionally, even people without back pain may have changes in their spine and seeing changes on a scan could lead to the same fear that causes exercise-avoidance, potentially making the problem worse.

The myths are busted in a new leaflet, online resources and a series of posters that will be displayed in physio waiting rooms across the country.

The chair of the CSP, Catherine Pope, said: “It’s understandable why these myths are held – indeed, some would have been the established view in healthcare before new research came out.

“But as the evidence moves on, so must we and that’s why it’s so important that people understand more about what causes back pain and how best to tackle it.

“In most cases it is essential to keep moving and continue doing regular activities, such as exercise, so that what may often be a minor problem doesn’t develop into something more serious.’

Back pain globally causes more disability than any other condition.

In the UK, it is a leading cause of sickness absence and estimated to cost the economy £5bn a year.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.csp.org.uk/mythbusters