‘The Burden of Back Pain’: Connect Health’s Chief Medical Officer provides expert commentary to The Economist

Connect Health’s Chief Medical Officer is in The Economist giving his expert insight on ‘The Burden of Back Pain’ and how management should also include psychosomatic treatment.

31 January 2020

“Vast sums are wasted on treatments for back pain that make it worse”

While attending Connect Health’s ‘Moving Forward – How to commission evidence-based MSK pathways’ our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Graeme Wilkes, gave his expert commentary to The Economist on its recent feature entitled ‘The Burden of Back Pain’.

The in-depth article examines why managing back pain should consider psychosomatic health treatment:

Dr Wilkes says that he might spend an hour telling a patient that the things seen on his MRI may not be the reasons for his back pain, and that a spinal injection is unlikely to help. “The reason they’ve got back pain is that they have financial problems, marital problems, disabled children, they are not sleeping at night—not those changes in their MRI scan,” says Dr Wilkes. “And they go home and someone says ‘Oh, that’s absolute rubbish that you can’t get an injection, because my mate at work had it and he was much better afterwards. Don’t listen to them, go back to your GP and get referred’.”

The Economist journalist attended the event in November 2019 where healthcare professionals were invited to London, to learn, network and share challenges regarding musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions, which are responsible for 30.8 million lost working days in the UK every year.

Read ‘The Burden of Back Pain’ here (paywalled)

The Economist ‘Leaders’ Feature (paywalled)


Please note, you require a subscription to The Economist to read the full article.