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NICE draft guidelines for low back pain 2016

A press-release about the latest draft guidelines for low back pain from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) describes how massage and manipulation are recommended alongside exercise for low back pain (LBP). People with LBP should also be supported in maintaining regular daily activities according to the draft, which is currently under discussion.

Osteopaths are trained in joint manipulation as part of their standard curriculum, and utilise “soft tissue” techniques that are closely related to massage. Osteopaths also typically provide advice and guidance for patients on exercise and stretching techniques. This overall package of care can be tailored to the patient’s specific needs and abilities.

The process that NICE follows when updating their guidelines involves consultation with parties who register as stakeholders. This includes NCOR, the General Osteopathic Council, and the Institute of Osteopathy. At the time of writing, NCOR is facilitating the discussion between these organisations; we are examining the documents in detail and preparing a response to the draft guidelines. All registered stakeholders can provide a response by 5th May, and the content of these responses will be examined before final guidelines are published in September.

Osteopaths are invited to send their thoughts to NCOR using our feedback form.

In the meantime we welcome the continued work by NICE to provide clear, evidence-informed guidance to clinicians and patients, and for the opportunity to respond to this draft.