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Back Care Awareness Week 8th – 12th October


Tracy Hannigan of the British Osteopathic Association


Supports National Back Care Awareness Week


The British Osteopathic Association (BOA) is giving its full support to this year’s National Back Care Awareness Week, which takes place from 8th to 12th October. The theme, this year, is “Builder’s Back Pain”.

Tracy Hannigan, an osteopath in Brook Green, commented: ‘The BOA is delighted to give its support to National Back Care Awareness Week which aims to raise awareness of the causes and treatments of this debilitating symptom. Back pain accounts for half of all chronic pain and is the leading cause of sickness absence from work.

“The financial burden of back pain is enormous, costing the UK economy £37 million, £13 million in disability benefits and the NHS £1.3 million EVERY DAY. That’s a staggering £19 billion every year.”

This year’s campaign is focusing on the construction industry which generates 30,000 new back injuries each year. Continues Tracy, “Most back injuries for construction workers are typically sprains and strains which occur in the lower back due to activities where you lift, lower, carry, push, or pull. The risk of injury increases if you repeatedly carry heavy loads and must twist your back, or if you tend to work bent over or in awkward positions. An osteopath can identify and tackle the underlying musculo-skeletal problems that cause pain and a large number of patients who have already been prescribed painkillers no longer need their prescriptions.”

Osteopaths work with their hands using a wide range of treatment techniques, such as soft tissue and neuro- muscular massage, joint mobilising techniques and corrective manipulations designed to improve the mobility and range of movement of a joint. A first step to finding an osteopath in your area is by searching on the website:


Top tips for preventing back pain on a building site

  • Cut down on carrying. Have materials delivered close to where they will be used.
  • Try to store heavier materials at waist height.
  • Raise your work to waist level, if you can.
  • Make sure floors and walkways are clear and dry. Slips and trips are a big cause of back injuries.
  • Take rest breaks. When you are tired, you can get injured more easily.
  • Use carts, dollies, forklifts, and hoists to move materials—not your back.
  • Use carrying tools with handles to get a good grip on odd-shaped loads.
  • If materials weigh more than about 50 pounds, do not lift them by yourself. Get help from another worker or use a cart.
  • When lifting or carrying materials, keep the load as close to your body as you can.
  • Try not to twist when lifting and lowering materials. Turn your whole body instead. Lift and lower materials in a smooth, steady way.
  • Try not to jerk to lift.
  • When you pick up materials off the ground, try supporting yourself by leaning on something while lifting.
  • Also don’t bend over; instead, kneel on one knee and pull the load up on to your knee before standing.
  • Make sure to wear knee pads when you kneel

British Osteopathic Association tel: 01582 488 455


About the British Osteopathic Association

The British Osteopathic Association (BOA) is the professional association for osteopaths in the UK, acting as an independent representative body whilst promoting osteopathy to the general public and government. The BOA is committed to supporting, protecting and caring for its members and promoting opportunities for individual and professional development in osteopathic practice.  There are nearly 4,000 osteopaths on the UK register who carried out over seven million treatments last year, and many of these are members of the British Osteopathic Association