University study set to tackle back pain treatment

Researchers at the University of Keele are setting up a major clinical study
in a bid to improve treatment of lower back pain, which affects millions of
people in the UK every year.

Around 1,000 people from north Staffordshire and Cheshire will be recruited
onto the five-year study, which is being funded by a grant of £384,000 from the
arthritis charity Arthritis Research Campaign (ARC).

More than two and a half million people saw their GP with back pain in 2000,
but 90 per cent never have the cause of their pain accurately diagnosed.

Back pain represents a major drain on the country’s economy, accounting for
108 million lost working days, said ARC.

The team at Keele’s Primary Care Sciences Research Centre are hoping to
devise more effective, better-targeted care packages for back pain patients to
speed up their recovery and get them back to work again.

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