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National Back Pain and Radicular Pain Pathway

NICE Endorsement Statement:
“This care pathway supports implementation of recommendations in the NICE guideline on low back pain and sciatica.” National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, June 2017

Back pain is the largest single cause of disability in the UK, with low back pain alone accounting for 11% of the total disability of the UK population. Referrals for spinal surgery are increasing year on year and a growing number of patients are waiting longer than 18 weeks from referral to treatment. Wide variations exist in surgical rates between centres, and there are a significant number of treatments with a poor evidence base.

A team over 30 stakeholders, national bodies and patients have worked collaboratively and devised a complete end to end pathway for the management of lower back pain and radicular pain, the National Low Back and Radicular Pain Pathway.

For more information on the Pathway and the Improving Spinal Care Project, please visit the United Kingdom Spine Societies Board (UKSSB) website:

About the NSN

The National Spine Network (NSN) is an active multi-professional collaboration dedicated to the implementation of the best evidence for the management of spinal disorders through the National Back and Radicular Pain Pathway. The strength of the network lies with its members, learning from each other’s vast cumulative knowledge and experience to promote excellence in clinical care.



National Spine Network (c/o UKSSB)
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