back-pain_001-1080x600For anyone who works in healthcare you’re probably quite familiar with NICE guidelines, for anyone who isn’t, they are guidelines health professionals follow for the treatment and management of certain ailments put together from the best evidence based research that is available at the time.

There are guidelines for all sorts of things and I thought I’d write a little about the guidelines for a very common problem – Non Specific Low Back Pain (NSLBP) and sciatica, that is, where pain has no association with a known serious or potentially serious cause.

Self management is first up :offering advice and information; personally I think this is an underrated aspect, if knowledge is power then offering knowledge can surely only be empowering (and hopefully motivating) helping someone understand their problem and ideally want to take control of it.

Next up, group exercise, specific programmes tailored around needs, capabilities and preferences of individuals, where NSLBP is concerned exercise is the number one go to! Something I’ve often come across is people using belts, there is a huge psychological element to using supports with injuries, and if they’ve been advised in relation to a particular diagnosed condition follow the advice, however for NSLBP NICE say they are not to be offered.

Other no go’s for NSLBP include acupuncture and electrotherapy (i.e. TENS). Manual therapies (soft tissue/massage, mobilisations/manipulations) are suggested as a potential for consideration but not on their own only in conjunction with other treatments such as psychological therapies and (you guessed it) exercise! I’m not going to go into less conservative treatments as I’m not a doctor but for anyone interested NICE guidelines are available to access online. It may not have escaped your notice that where NSLBP is concerned exercise is foundational,

I’m not talking sets and reps of deadlifts just progressive exercises (any one that’s done a FitFarms core session will know what I mean there!) beginning gently, progressing and committing to it; often programmes are followed until pain eases then neglected until it comes back and its back to square one, the key is continuation.


Health and Fitness exercise tip by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here.

Image credit to Biodynamichealth.com