It’s estimated that a huge 80% of people in the UK will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives.1 Whilst invisible to the naked eye this condition can last days, intermittently or for eternity and can range from mild discomfort to chronic agony.
The first full week of October marks Backcare Awareness Week in the UK, a campaign run by BackCare (the National Back Pain Association). The charity was set up in 1968, and for over 50 years it’s been educating people on how to prevent and relieve back pain.2
Each year their campaign focuses on a different area or cause of back pain. And in 2020, they’re concentrating on the incidence and prevention of back pain in nursing.
According to BackCare, nursing (intensive care nursing in particular) is one of the occupations with the highest incidence of work-related back problems3 and Chronic Lower Back Pain (CLBP) among nurses is a growing health concern.4 This is likely down to the frequent repetition of particular movements, having to lift and reposition patients, regularly stooping forwards and people in this profession being on their feet for extended periods of time.
It’s important to continue to try and prevent back injuries by keeping a generally healthy lifestyle and making sure to take particular care when lifting heavy objects. But, so many of us can be taken by surprise by the sudden onset of back pain, so we wanted to share some easy to remember tips from the NHS5 and Virtua Health6 which may help:
 NHS. Back pain guide. Accessed on 30/09/2020. Available on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/
 BackCare. About Us. Available on https://backcare.org.uk/about-us/
 BackCare. 2020. TalkBack, autumn (Published on 21 Sept 2020) Accessed on 30/09/2020. Available on https://issuu.com/backcare/docs/backcare_talkback_issue_2_2020
 Budhrani-Shani P et al. 2016. Mind-Body Exercises for Nurses with Chronic Low Back Pain: An Evidence-Based Review. Nurs Res Pract. 2016;2016:9018036. doi: 10.1155/2016/9018036. Epub 2016 Jul 3. PMID: 27446610; PMCID: PMC4947504.
 NHS. Back Pain Treatment. Accessed on 30/09/2020 Available on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/treatment/
 Virtua Health. 10 Tips for dealing with lower back pain. Accessed on 30/09/2020 Available on https://www.virtua.org/articles/10-tips-for-dealing-with-lower-back-pain