Back pain is a health and safety issueThe National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has released guidance for the early management of non-specific and persistent lower back pain.

Speaking to the Nursing Times, Margaret Flanagan, member of the NICE guideline development group, said back pain affects around one in three UK adults every year and for some, the condition hinders their ability to work.

NICE’s guidance is for individuals who have experienced pain for more than six weeks but less than a year.

It stated that people with lower back pain should stay as active as possible as this will help with the condition, while a course of manual therapy such as massage and spinal manipulation can also help.

People who have pain which impacts on their daily life should be offered a combined psychological treatment and intensive exercise programme, Ms Flanagan continued.

The Health and Safety Executive advises employers: “Find out to what extent workers are reporting back pain symptoms and how much sickness absence is due to back problems. You may need to look at how you record and monitor sickness absence.”