Back Skills Training

The programme is specifically designed to help people recover from episodes of back pain that have lasted more than 6 weeks. It is also suitable for people who have persistent pain anywhere else in the body of an unknown cause e.g. sciatica, frozen shoulder, etc, who are appropriate for rehabilitation or conservative care.

Why is this the best treatment for your back?

  • Proven & highly effective
  • Extensively researched
  • Suitable for all adults
  • Small group approach
  • Reduces back pain
  • Improves quality of life
  • Skills for life-long benefits
  • Lower treatment costs

What is the evidence?

  • In research trials, Back Skills Training (BeST) was found to be as effective as other interventions in the short term, but exceeded them in the longer term
  • Significantly reduced pain and disability at 12 months and beyond
  • Significantly improved patient satisfaction and quality of life

It consists of 1 individual session lasting 60 minutes, followed by 6 group sessions of 90 minutes. Now for the first time this unique programme is being offered in the North West.

Who is the Back Skills Training programme for?

This programme is suitable for all people of any age who have lived with non-specific back pain for 6 or more weeks. It is also suitable for people who have persistent pain anywhere else in the body of an unknown cause, e.g. sciatica, frozen shoulder, weak knee, etc.

The Back Skills Training programme will provide equal benefit to anyone experiencing low back pain, regardless of their baseline risk factors, such as how fearful of getting hurt they are.

Patient reflections on the Back Skills Training Programme

“I found it very good because when you are by yourself you’re the only one with this problem and nobody else knows what you’re going through…to sit down with people who were actually the same or very similar it was reassuring that you are not by yourself and to hear how they do things and think ‘that’s a brilliant idea’…it was good.”

“…now I don’t think about it (my back), I’ve been going twice a day on the bus, that would have been unthinkable this time last year, and I go up the stairs now sometimes instead of taking the lift…you might see me in a couple of days running around the street!”

“What different people did and said helped because you learn so much through listening to other people with the same problems. I found that invaluable.”

“I found the content really interesting and it was like a lightbulb coming on really - the moment of ‘oh of course that’s why I feel that way’ and did a lot of nodding and agreeing with what was being said.”

What is the Back Skills Training?

The Back Skills Training programme helps people “undo” unhelpful beliefs about low back pain, and develop skills to become more active. It consists of an initial 1 to 1 session lasting about an hour and 6 group sessions of 90 minutes.

The Individual session provides:

  • The background of your problem and we’ll carry out some assessments.
  • We’ll then be able to set goals and treatment aims and discuss what your expectations are.
  • We’ll cover an overview of the group sessions and your personal workbook and finally.
  • Start you off with a few gentle tailored exercises that you can start doing at home.

The Group sessions provide:

  • Education
  • Practical skills
  • Tailored activity plans and goal setting

Research shows that patients who work together in groups can find huge benefit and support from talking to other patients who experience pain.

Will the Back Skills Training benefit me?

We cannot promise you that you’ll be able to stroll out with the family but it would be good to aim to be able to be more active.

Although for many back pain is short lived, for a significant number of people the pain lasts, initially for weeks and sometimes into months and years.

It is well documented that the NHS has a low impact on musculoskeletal (MSK) pain of unknown causes. For many, women especially, when diagnostic tests reveal no physical causes that the doctor can reveal to us, we are prescribed medication for anxiety or depression! Others are given pain killers that simply do not cut through to the pain.

Some seek alternative therapies and although all claim to help, very few are completely effective and none will resolve the problem completely unless the patient also helps themselves. For others, the cost of private treatment is out of the question.

Although there is one initial personal session, the following six sessions are in small groups (no more than 10 in one group) and thus costs are reduced significantly.

If you have been suffering pain in your back, or you have persistent pain anywhere else in your body of an unknown cause, this skills-based programme will benefit you.

How can I find out more?

The Back Sills Training programme was designed by a collaboration with a team of experts at Oxford University and you can find out more here.

How can I join?

It is simple. Telephone Fiona on 07763 991556

I will let you know when the next programme is available and get you booked on.

I will be facilitating this programme in Colne and Accrington, Lancashire.

In the meantime, you can have your initial appointment and get started with your goals of improvement.

Back Skills Training in other cities, towns and villages

If after reading this you wished you had the BeST programme closer to you and know others who would also appreciate a more local group, please let me know. I am quite willing to travel to a committed group of pain sufferers to facilitate this programme in the following locations, and all those places in between. Other locations by negotiation.

Long Preston
Dunsop Bridge
Hebden Bridge
Cross Hills