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Back pain profiles

Low back pain is extremely common and is the largest single cause of loss of disability adjusted life years, and the largest single cause of years lived with disability in England (Global Burden of Disease, 2013). In terms of disability adjusted life years lost per 100,000, low back pain is responsible for 2,313.

These back pain profiles* contain health intelligence produced by NEQOS to support the implementation of the national pathfinder project  to provide better pathways of care for people with low back and radicular pain. The NHS England Pathfinder Projects were established to address high value care pathways which cross commissioning and health care boundaries.

This work has been funded through the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) project that is part of the Department of Health funded clinically-led Quality and Efficiency Programme.

NEQOS would like to acknowledge the Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) as the source of data used in these profiles and to Professor Charles Greenough and Mr Ashley Cole for their expert clinical guidance and advice.

To access the report produced for your CCG/Trust, please click on the regional links below.


North of England Commissioning Region

Midlands and East Commissioning Region

South of England Commissioning Region

London Commissioning Region


The AHSN NENC funded the first implementation of the Back Pain Pathway in the country. An independent evaluation of the pathway demonstrates the value it is having in treating patients at each stage of the healthcare system. Please click here to view the report and slide set.

For further information or to become a subscriber for an annual refresh of this service, or any other NEQOS service, please contact the team either by telephone 0191 245 6712 or by email at neqos@cntw.nhs.uk.

*Data Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (Health & Social Care Information Centre via HDIS). Timeframe used March 2014 – 2015.