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New low back pain and sciatica policy for North West London

Published on: 28th March 2018

NHS North West London is introducing an updated policy for the management of low back pain, with effect from April 2018. The changes follow recommendations from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE, 2016), engagement work with local patients and clinicians, and a local evidence review.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advises that some spinal injections and acupuncture should not be offered to manage low back pain because they do not justify the risks and costs involved. GPs in the eight boroughs of North West London will therefore no longer be routinely be sending patients for certain spinal injections or for acupuncture.

The focus of low back pain management will move towards evidence-based treatments recommended by NICE including self-care, back exercises, and referrals to other services such as physiotherapy and psychological therapies.

For more information about the changes see:

•          Low back pain web page

•          Patient leaflet

•          Easy read leaflet

•          Low back pain policy