Physiotherapist leads the way with new technique to ease chronic back pain

Physiotherapist leads the way with new technique to ease chronic back painA physiotherapist at Leicester’s Hospitals has been shortlisted for a top innovation award for his pioneering strategy to management chronic back pain, the East Midlands Leadership Academy has announced this month.

Chris Newton based at Leicester Royal Infirmary, is in the running to be named “Innovator of the Year” in the East Midlands Leadership Academy Recognition Awards 2013 for his leadership in the implementation of a new strategy to manage patients suffering from persistent or chronic lower back pain disorders.

Chris championed the use of ‘Classification Based - Cognitive Functional Therapy’ (CB-CFT) in Leicester after he was trained in this technique in 2010, an approach developed and taught by Professor Peter O’Sullivan at Curtin University in Australia. Since being trained, Chris has also started to disseminate this work with physiotherapy colleagues at Leicester’s Hospitals.

Lower back pain is now ranked the number one cause of disability across in the UK, and globally according to the recent Global Burden of Disease study (The Lancet, 2012).

Physiotherapist Chris explains: “Implementing this new therapy has been a huge challenge but the outstanding results and excellent feedback from patients has made it worthwhile. The outcomes we’ve found appear to be better than those published previously in the UK or globally, so this is a great achievement for us.

“We are the first group to implement this approach within the NHS, so Leicester really is at the forefront of delivering an evidence-based approach and world-class outcomes for this patient group. This is just the start of a very exciting journey and the result of working with an excellent, enthusiastic and supportive team.”

The effect on the Physiotherapy outpatient team has been so significant it prompted Nicky Horsley and Gurpreet Singh, both musculoskeletal physiotherapists for Leicester’s Hospitals, to nominate Chris for NHS Innovator of the Year in the awards.

Chris’s nomination was one of 119 that have been considered by a panel of judges for the awards.

The NHS Leadership Recognition Awards celebrate leaders at all levels and across all professions who have ultimately improved people’s health, the public’s experience of the NHS and those leaders others are truly proud to work alongside.

Image: Physiotherapist Chris Newton