Back Pain Management Guide Launched

  • Deborah Morris
Associate Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance

A new back pain management guide was launched at the Beehive today by the Associate Minister of Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance, Deborah Morris.

"Nine out of ten New Zealanders will experience acute back pain at some stage in their lives.

"Low back pain is a major health and economic problem in the industrialised western world. The health care costs are considerable. However, financial costs are only part of the picture. Persistent back pain also results in social and psychological impacts on individuals. The new guide helps people to manage their back pain in the most effective way so that they can return to their normal activities as quickly as possible.

"The guide is available free from health providers, and includes practical tools for patients to set their own recovery goals and action plan.

Ms Morris said the traditional remedy for acute back pain had been bed rest of up to four weeks. "Research shows that bed rest of more than two days generally makes the pain worse. In fact it is much more beneficial to keep as active as possible."

The guide is the work of a task force of health providers, including general practitioners, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. It has been published with the support of ACC and the National Health Committee.

"Everybody involved in this project is to be congratulated for producing a resource which gives people practical tips to help themselves. I am confident that it will help reduce the significant personal, social and economic costs of back pain," said Deborah Morris.