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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: