The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is updating its 2009 guidance on the early management of low back pain and has published a draft guideline for consultation.
In the draft guideline for ‘Low back pain and sciatica’, NICE makes the following recommendations, amongst others, for non-invasive treatments:
- Consider group exercise programme (biomechanical, aerobic, mind–body or a combination of approaches) within the NHS for people with a specific episode or flare-up of non-specific low back pain with or without sciatica;
- Consider manipulation, mobilisation or soft tissue techniques (for example, massage) for managing non-specific low back pain with or without sciatica, as part of multi-modal treatment package.
Psychological therapy is also recommended, as part of a multi-modal treatment package.
Regrettably, NICE specifies in the draft guidance that acupuncture should not be offered for the management of specific low back pain with or without sciatica, even though this particular therapy was included in the 2009 guidance.
The FHT will be responding to NICE as a registered stakeholder and we will keep members informed of our progress.
Consultation closing date: 5 May, 2016