Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust has launched an innovative new tool to communicate vital advice that it hopes will help patients with back pain and reduce the need for hospital treatment.
The trust, which runs Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull hospitals, has developed an animated video to highlight the “simple things” patients can do without the need to seek medical advice.
“It is simple advice but that education needs to get out there”
The animation promotes the message that “you are the best person to help make your back better”, said the trust. The main message is that “keeping active is the best thing that you can do”.
The video then illustrates the NHS approved advice for easing back pain, for example, trying to maintain everyday activity as much as possible, avoiding bed rest during the day, avoiding long periods of driving and taking simple pain killers and anti-inflammatory tablets.
However, the animation makes clear that if patients should attend accident and emergency “immediately” if they have difficulty controlling or passing urine, or numbness, loss of feeling or pins and needles around their back passage or genitals.
Julie Hunter, the trust’s therapy lead for planned care acute and community services, was the driving force behind the project.
She said: “Evidence has shown that if we can encourage people with acute back pain to keep moving it will usually resolve within six weeks, unless there are other underlying factors.
“It is simple advice but that education needs to get out there and that is why we have put this animation together,” she said.