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Gold, incentives and meh

Call for physio funding for back pain

Physiotherapy is cost-effective for treating back pain but

continues to face 'horrendous' underinvestment, researchers warn.

Their new study found a

programme of physical ther-

apy had a cost per quality-

adjusted life-year of only

£2,362, well within the NICE threshold for cost-effectiveness.

The strategy was at least as

effective as a brief pain management programme, with marginally greater effectiveness at 12 months for slightly higher costs.

But the researchers, whose study was published in Arthritis and Rheumatism, said increasing evidence for the effectiveness

of physiotherapy was not

being translated into greater funding.

Study leader Professor Elaine Hay, professor of rheumatology at the Primary Care Musculoskeletal Research Centre at Keele University, said: 'There certainly isn't a shortage of physiotherapists being trained – but there is a shortage of jobs.

'It's horrendous. It's not a Government priority – it's chronic underinvestment in musculoskeletal services. There have been long waiting lists of people being referred.'

• Find locally relevant information on physiotherapy at

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