Backache sufferers will receive spinal manipulation or acupuncture on the NHS as a result of official guidance being issued this week on how to treat the debilitating condition.
The move will be welcomed by many of the millions of patients with the ailment, which brings widespread misery and costs the country billions of pounds in sick leave, welfare bills and medical treatment.
The new approach will be unveiled on Wednesday by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), which tells the NHS which treatments are worth spending money on. Nice is expected to say that exhaustive research has shown that manipulation of a patient's spine can be effective in relieving the symptoms of low back pain and recommend that GPs refer sufferers for up to nine sessions with an osteopath, chiropractor or physiotherapist who is trained in manipulation, or an acupuncturist.
Professor Steve Field, the chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: "It's good that GPs are finally being given what appears to be authoritative and well-researched guidance. I have found osteopathy and chiropracty helpful with some patients, and become more convinced about acupuncture, having previously been sceptical."
Source - Guardian