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  • General practice pharmacist scheme evaluation indicates ‘improved capacity’ as the main benefit

    General practice pharmacist scheme evaluation indicates ‘improved capacity’ as the main benefit

    Tuesday, 31 July 2018 15:31
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    Asthma deaths levels increase by a quarter in a decade

    Thursday, 26 July 2018 15:08
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    NPA and Age UK ask for help on building polypharmacy dossier

    Wednesday, 25 July 2018 13:46
  • Pharmacy bodies welcome Health Secretary’s pledge to invest in community pharmacy

    Pharmacy bodies welcome Health Secretary’s pledge to invest in community pharmacy

    Tuesday, 24 July 2018 12:53
  • NHS Digital seeks views on SCR with Additional Information

    NHS Digital seeks views on SCR with Additional Information

    Tuesday, 24 July 2018 12:41

Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
More inWhite Papers  

a lower back pain imageMarch 28 2018

More needs to be done to encourage health professionals to follow guidelines about managing lower back pain. Rather than turning to pain killers or invasive treatments, health professionals should do more to educate the patient and to encourage exercise and activity for back pain, say researchers in a series of papers published in the Lancet.

“Evidence suggests that low back pain should be managed in primary care, with the first line of treatment being education and advice to keep active and at work,” said the researchers from Keele and Warwick Universities in the UK, alongside colleagues overseas.

“However, in reality, a high proportion of patients worldwide are treated in emergency departments, encouraged to rest and stop work, are commonly referred for scans or surgery, or prescribed pain killers including opioids, which are discouraged for treating low back pain.”

NIHR Professor Nadine Foster, the lead author of one of the papers in the Series, said: “The gap between best evidence and practice in low back pain must be reduced. We need to redirect funding away from ineffective or harmful tests and treatments, and towards approaches that promote physical activity and function.

“We also need to intensify further research of promising new approaches such as redesigning patient pathways of care and interventions that support people to function and stay at work.”

Responding to the Lancet papers, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said lower back pain “is something that GPs see in our consultation rooms on a daily basis, and what is clear is that one size does not fit all in terms of managing the pain.

“For some patients, particularly in more serious cases, there is a limit to how realistic a significant amount of exercise is. For these patients, whilst not a cure, drug-therapy can provide a great deal of relief and should not be dismissed entirely – the most effective approach, as with any medication, is that it should be prescribed at the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time.”

Links:
Keele University announcement           
The Lancet. ‘Low back pain’. Series published March 22 2018    

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