Street Physiotherapy Helps Council Bust Back Pain Myths

October 10, 2016

We recently partnered with North Tyneside Council to host street physiotherapy sessions and promote the Back Pain Myth Busters campaign.

Physiotherapy Matters bust back pain myths

Mark Henderson, Occupational Health Physiotherapist at Physiotherapy Matters

Chartered Physiotherapists Mark Henderson and Summer Cusack educated North Tyneside Council staff, at their headquarters, on the common misunderstandings around back pain and what the latest evidence says is best for your back.

The aim of the campaign, which is led by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, is to educate and inform on the myths surrounding back pain, as well advise on the best solutions for back pain, which globally causes more disability than any other condition and in the UK is a leading cause of sickness absence, estimated to cost the economy £5 billion a year.

Information leaflets about back pain were available and some staff took part in a 20 minute seminar and question and answer session on their lunch breaks which was designed to help bust the four biggest myths and help tackle what remains the leading cause of disability and sickness absence from work.

An Opinium survey, conducted for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy showed nearly four in ten people believe a scan will show them what is wrong with their back, including the 60 per cent of those surveyed who had ongoing back trouble.

Focussing on this, one of the myths covered at the event was ‘a scan will show me exactly what is wrong’, which highlighted that most often a scan will not identify the issue and in addition, people without back pain may have changes in their spine and this could lead to the same fear that causes exercise-avoidance, potentially making the problem worse.

The three other myths which were dispelled at the event were: ‘moving will make my back pain worse’, ‘I should avoid exercise, especially weight training’ and ‘pain equals damage’.

Nick Livadas, clinical manager at Physiotherapy Matters, said:

“Physiotherapists undertake more back care training than GPs and are therefore ideal to deal with back pain which is a major cause of sickness absence. It was great for Physiotherapy Matters to be welcomed to North Tyneside’s head office and be able to educate local workers about the back pain myths that are so prevalent and so frequently affect how people recover from back pain.”

For more information on the campaign, visit

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