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Airing Pain 90: Back Pain

David Rogers, physiotherapist and co-author of Back to Life, explains persistent back pain and some simple exercises that can help

This programme was funded by a grant from The Schuh Trust.

Back pain causes more disability than any other condition in the UK[1]. It is the second most common cause of absence from work, resulting in the loss of four million working days per year[2]. This comes at a heavy price not only for the NHS, the Department for Work and Pensions, and the UK economy – reported to be costing each £480 million, £5 billion and £9.6 billion a year respectively – but for the increasing number of us who will experience back pain at some point in our lives.

Over 40% of over 50s go on to develop back pain[3], and with an ageing population it’s more important than ever that we know what we can do to prevent, reduce and manage this common but debilitating ailment.

Dr David Rogers is an Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Practitioner at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham. In 2016 he co-authored the book Back to Life: How to unlock your pathway to recovery (when back pain persists) with Dr Grahame Brown. It breaks down complex-sounding terms and contains plenty of practical advice for managing and relieving back pain. David explains the ideas behind the book and the biopsychosocial model to Paul, who tries some 7:11 breathing and relaxation techniques.

Issues covered in this programme include: The 7:11 breathing technique, catastrophising, flare-up, lower back pain, muscle tension, pacing, physiotherapy, psychology, relaxation, sciatica, SMART system and visualisation.


  • Dr David Rogers, Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Practitioner at Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham and co-author, with Grahame Brown of Back to Life: How to unlock your pathway to recovery.

More information:

[1] Figures from NHS Healthy Evidence Forum:

[2] Statistics from Back Care:

[3] Statistics from Back Care:

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