Addressing the Back and Neck Health Crisis – A Call to Action for Prompt Care

I wanted to write this blog as a response to a concerning article in the Guardian on 19th January – Back and neck problems driving major UK health crisis, say medical leaders.’

As a physiotherapist specialising in back pain and working in the private sector, I feel compelled to address the recent surge in back and neck problems across the UK.

The statistics are alarming—almost a million people in the UK are currently too unwell to work due to back or neck ailments, and the welfare bill for these issues has tripled in the past two decades. This growing crisis, fuelled largely by sedentary lifestyle among other factors, demands our immediate attention.

However, in the face of these concerning numbers, there is a crucial message of hope in and validation of proactive health management.

Proactive Health Management = A preventive and anticipatory approach to maintaining and enhancing one’s health

It’s essential to recognise that the majority of back and neck problems can be significantly improved with prompt physiotherapy assessment, advice, and rehabilitation.

In my opinion proactive health management in a musculoskeletal context means two things:

  • Early intervention
  • The prevention of relapse

1. Early intervention
As you consider your own health and well-being, it’s important to understand that leaving back pain unaddressed can lead to more severe conditions, impacting not only your daily life but potentially your ability to work and engage in the activities you love.

In a private back pain clinic, our focus is on you—the person seeking relief and a path to recovery. We emphasise the importance of early intervention to prevent the escalation of back and neck problems, so that you can manage them before they have a substantial negative impact on your quality of life. By seeking prompt care, you can significantly improve your chances of faster and more complete recovery.

2. The prevention of relapse
Another issue with an inundated health service is the fact that it can promote a symptom focused model of care. This model causes both patients and practitioners to focus solely on treating symptoms, rather than getting to the core cause of the issue.

At our clinic we have the time and capacity to be outcome driven, rather than simply symptom focused. This approach prioritises identifying and addressing the root causes of pain, taking a holistic view of overall health, and actively involving individuals in their recovery. Being outcome-driven is essential in preventing the relapse of back or neck pain.

By empowering patients with a deeper understanding of their condition and emphasising preventative measures, such as proper body mechanics and tailored exercises, outcome-driven care promotes long-term well-being. Individualised treatment plans and ongoing progress monitoring ensure your interventions align with your personal goals, reducing the risk of back pain recurrence and fostering sustained health and function.

Symptom Focused Care = focuses solely on treating current symptoms

Outcome Driven Care = prioritises identifying and addressing the root causes of pain

Physiotherapy offers personalised assessments and targeted interventions to address the root causes of your back pain. Our goal is not just symptom relief but empowering you with the knowledge and exercises to prevent future issues. By focusing on outcomes, rather than symptoms, you give the best chance of preventing your injury from becoming (or remaining) chronic and repetitive.

I invite you to consider the importance of taking proactive steps to manage your back health. Whether you’re currently experiencing discomfort or looking to prevent future issues, the Sussex Back Pain Clinic can offer timely and tailored care to support your journey to recovery.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Your well-being is our priority, and we are here to help you navigate and overcome any back or neck challenges you may be facing.

To book an appointment or to arrange a phone call with Duncan call us on 01273 725667



With a genuine passion for improving the lives of individuals suffering from back pain, I offer a unique combination of professional expertise and personal experience to the treatment of patients. I believe in empowering patients to take control and move towards a pain-free life. I am here to guide you on the journey from where you are now to where you need to be.


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