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Low Back Pain

Back PainIntroduction

Low back pain is a common disorder, affecting around one-third of the UK adult population each year. (Source: NICE Clinical Guideline 88 - Low Back Pain)
You can find out more about back pain from a patient's perspective by clicking the NHS Direct Wales Health Encyclopedia link to the right of this page.


The Designed to Improve Health Health and the Management of Chronic Conditions in Wales document was issued in recognition of the increasing trends in the prevalence of chronic conditions.
Service Improvement Plan 2008-2011 - The purpose of this Chronic Conditions Management (CCM) Service Improvement Plan is to help clarify the actions needed for  the CCM Model and Framework, improving the prevention and care of those living with chronic conditions. It sets out a new vision for CCM services in Wales.

A ‘Framework for Supported Self Care’ has been published to coordinate and align services to support self care and to integrate them into mainstream health and social care services.

Service Planning

Local authorities and local health boards are required to formulate and implement a Health, Social Care and Wellbeing (HSCWB) Strategy for their local area. The strategy contains elements for Chronic Conditions Prevention and Management.

The Annual Operating Framework (AOF) sets out the direction of travel for the NHS in Wales during 2010/2011. The AOF requires LHBs to submit a Chronic Conditions Management Local Action Plan which demonstrates how the programme/targets will be delivered in 2010/2011.


Welsh Backs is a joint initiative developed in response to Health Challenge Wales - the nation's challenge to improve health.
The Expert Patient Programme provides a number of self-management course and workshops for people living with any long-term health condition.
Healthy Working Wales is a resource for GPs offering timely access to training, information and decision tools to support the management of work and health as part of the GP consultation.
The Condition Management Programme (CMP) is a short programme aimed at helping participants to understand and manage their health condition or disability. The CMP is a key part of the UK-wide “Pathways to Work” initiative, which offers support and advice to people who have been unable to work because of illness.


The National Institute for Health and Clinical Exellence (NICE) an independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance on promoting good health and preventing and treating ill health.
NHS Evidence  is a single point of access to good quality evidence for health and social care professionals.
Map of Medicine shows you the ideal, evidence-based patient journey for common and important conditions. It is a high-level overview that can be shared by patients and healthcare providers.

The NHS Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS) are a reliable source of evidence-based information and practical 'know how' about common conditions managed in primary care.


The Management of Back Pain Research Bulletin: October 2006 provides information around themes including prevention, psychological factors, occupational health, general practice and schools.


The Patient experience survey on chronic conditions provides a baseline assessment of how people with chronic conditions experience their care in Wales.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the UK government’s single largest statistical producer. It compiles information about the UK’s society and economy including health and care statistics. ONS provides the evidence-base for policy and decision-making, the allocation of resources, and public accountability.