Who Cares for the Carers?

BackCare Awareness Week runs from the 3rd – 8th October 2016. Over 70% of the UK’s unpaid carers now suffer from back pain. They are at a greater risk of developing ongoing chronic pain, which is highly disabling in a third of cases and life-long for the majority. 

The national back pain charity, BackCare is working to help UK carers with this high profile campaign.

BackCare aims to significantly reduce the burden of back pain by providing information and advice to all people and organisations affected by back pain. They fund scientific research into the causes, prevention and management of back pain.

The UK is home to 7 million  unpaid carers, that’s close to one in ten of us! They represent an unpaid and often invisible workforce that saves the government an estimated £119billion a year. To give some perspective the Department for Health’s  NHS budget for 2015/16 in England alone is £116.4billion.

Four out of five of us will experience back pain in our lifetime. Carers are clearly at a higher risk, they are often too old and unwell themselves or too young and not equipped to cope. CarersUK predict that within 20 years there will be 9million carers in the UK, this is a huge concern for all of us.


Here are some facts:

  • 35 million working days are lost each year to musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders such as back pain.
  • back pain is second only to stress as the most common cause of long term sickness in UK employees.
  • this costs us all a staggering £7.6billion per year.
  • 1.4 million people in Britain spend more than 50 hours a week caring for someone.
  • 177,000 teenagers have someone to care for.

If you are a carer its imperative that you get the necessary support and that you stay well and able yourself. Carers can injure almost any part of their body, but the most prevalent injury by far is low back pain.

For those who care here are a few tips to help keep you safe:

  • allow the person you care for to help as much as a possible.
  • tell them what you plan to do and allow plenty of time.
  • wear sensible shoes and comfortable clothes.
  • make sure the space around you is clear, before you lift, get as close to the person as possible, place your legs apart and move the person little by little and often rather than in one movement.
  • try not to lift and twist at the same time, turn round slowly using small steps.
  • bend at the knees and hips and tense your stomach muscles to take the strain off your back.

Osteopaths are used to treating carers, often chronic, often acute. Low back pain, neck pain, tension headaches, shoulder pain, hip pain and knee pain, it can be all consuming. We understand how your body is built, know its function and are experts at understanding when things go wrong.

If you are a carer and think you might need the help of an osteopath, please call us on 01342 823722 or email admin@

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