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Young and old benefit from local Back Care Programme

Cabinet Secretary for Health, Vaughan Gething visited Llantrisant Leisure Centre to view the back care programme provided by Cwm Taf University Health Board.

The back care programme is a course for patients who suffer with chronic low back pain, and consists of four sessions run over a two week period.

Claire Ashton, clinical back care specialist said: “Of all the treatment methods available for low back pain and sciatica, the educational approach offers the most hope in motivating patients to take care of their own back condition.

“The back care programme is based on an understanding of the physiology and mechanics of the spinal structures and their relationship to daily activities.

“It is abundantly clear that the community based back care programme that we run here in Cwm Taf UHB utilises a holistic, patient-centred approach, which focuses on self-management and  is an efficient and effective treatment programme.”

The part exercise, part education based programme, is designed to provide information about back exercises and develop a plan suitable for patients to self-manage their back conditions.

Many techniques are used including cognitive behavioural therapy to change attitudes and beliefs about exercise and pain management.

During the visit the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well Being and Sport, Vaughan Gething, was able to observe the light exercises undertaken and talk to participants who were taking part in day four of the programme.

Following the visit, the Health Secretary said:

“Chronic low back pain can be very debilitating and it is fantastic to see the improvements that programmes like this can make to patients’ well being.

“The physiotherapy team are delivering innovative services that help people to manage their condition and keep active.

“At the same time, they are freeing up GPs and hospital clinicians to see other patients, ensuring people can receive the care they need from the right specialist.

It was great to see the back care programme in action.”

The team who run the programme also liaise closely with the National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS) which promotes exercise and continuity of care for patients with chronic low back pain.

The programme is run in a number of venues including:

Llantrisant Leisure Centre, Merthyr Leisure Centremand Michael Sobell Sports Centre, Aberdare.

For further information about the programme please contact Claire Ashton on 01685 728111 or claire.ashton@wales.nhs.uk