The latest news for osteopaths and manual therapists. If you prefer, you can filter by the following categories: Snapshot Summaries from our Centre for Reviews and Summaries; events; research hubs including Bristol, Exeter, Haywards Heath and Leeds. We also occasionally post summaries of articles that appear in The Osteopath and Osteopathy Today magazines. There is also an archive of our old monthly bulletins.

Update of the NICE guidelines for low back pain

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently consulting on the proposed update of their clinical guidelines for low back pain. They have produced a draft scope which defines the aspects of care that will be covered by the guideline and to whom it will apply. The National Council for Osteopathic Research are registered stakeholders and have submitted a number of comments on the scope, following a discussion with our stakeholders. We have submitted a range of comments including the following:


  1. It would be helpful to look at the literature on the implementation of guidelines as the 2009 low back pain guidelines have not been well implemented throughout the NHS;
  2. Patient satisfaction/satisfaction with care/patient experience should be included as outcomes.  This is important in its own right but also due to its effect on outcomes of care;
  3. The management section currently implies that the stepped approach for the early stages includes conventional treatments such as physiotherapy. This would be more properly termed physical therapy. Physical therapy may include manual therapy which appears to be seen as distinct from the use of manual therapy if pain persists in the section below. European guidelines and RCGP guidelines (now withdrawn) for early stages of back pain include recommendations about manipulation. It would be better if the language focussed on the interventions or packages of care rather than identified professional groups.


Consultation on the draft scope of the guidelines ended on 18th November, and the review of the guidelines will take place from 3rd July to 28th August 2015.  The anticipated publication date for the updated guidelines is 13th January 2016.


For more information, including the draft scope, visit: