A co-ordinated approach to the physical and mental consequences of chronic back pain


"We understand the importance of staying abreast of the insights provided by new research and the potential for improved treatment outcomes for patients."

Across the world, millions of individuals are affected by chronic musculoskeletal back pain (defined as back pain that lasts longer than three months). As personal injury lawyers know, back injury cases comprise a high proportion of accident related cases. To put the negative consequences of this into perspective, it has been shown that up to 116 million working days in the UK are lost due to this condition.

While it is clear that the physical pain caused by chronic back pain is severe, recently more of a focus has been placed on the associated impact on people’s mental health. For example, research has highlighted that 35% of people who suffer with lower back pain are also diagnosed with depression, anxiety and social isolation.

Osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT) is a form of treatment that uses touch-based massage and the manipulation of soft tissue and joints to help those who suffer with chronic musculoskeletal back pain. This has been found to be an effective approach, even more so than standard primary care measures of exercise and painkillers, for improving quality of life.

Consequently, researchers at Swansea University Health and Wellbeing Academy have conducted one of the first studies to assess whether OMT can also prove to be psychologically beneficial.

Over the past five years, therapists have been using OMT with individuals who suffer from a number of musculoskeletal disorders, whilst also assessing their mental health.

The results have shown promise, with OMT proving effective for reducing anxiety and psychological distress.

“These results offer an insight into the complicated inter-relationship between physical pain and the psychological impact this can have upon the person suffering from it,” says David Stothard, managing director at MAPS Medical Reporting.

“We understand the importance of staying abreast of the insights provided by new research and the potential for improved treatment outcomes for patients. Within our portfolio of medial reporting services, we provide law firms with access to expert witnesses who can recommend the most appropriate forms of treatment and rehabilitation to assist in their clients’ recovery.”

MAPS Medical Reporting provides fast access to reputable experts and high-quality, specialist medico legal reports to provide its customers with robust medical evidence to expedite both treatment services for accident victims and the claims process. Contact us to find out more about how we can support you.