New NICE Guidelines for Low Back Pain and Sciatica

NICE stands for National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.  It is an executive non-departmental public body of the Department of Health in the United Kingdom.  They use best evidence to produce guidelines and advice nationally to improve the quality of health and social care.

There are a huge number of guidelines that are updated regularly.  Recently NICE have produced new guidelines for low back pain and sciatica.  These new guidelines explicitly recognise the role of manual therapy in the treatment of low back pain and low back pain with sciatica.  Manual therapy can include spinal manipulation, spinal mobilisation and soft tissue techniques such as massage.  In our clinics, we use these techniques with good results in combination with home exercises and advice which are also highly recommended in the guidelines.

Notably the guidelines also state that while soft tissue techniques can be performed by many manual therapists, spinal manipulation is usually performed by Chiropractors, Osteopaths.  It can only be performed by physiotherapists and Doctors that have undergone extra training.

Useful Links

Royal College of Chiropractors: Summary of:  NEW NICE guidelines for Low back Pain & Sciatica

NICE – National Institute for Clinical Excellence: NEW guidelines for Low Back Pain & Sciatica