February 28th 2014, 11:11
The statistics speak for themselves. At some point, 85 per cent of us will suffer from back pain and yet medicine is still at a loss for how to treat this medical epidemic. Despite all manner of sophisticated gadgetry and high-tech surgery, including lumbar surgery, spinal fusion and surgery for slipped discs, surgical success only happens in some 1 per cent of cases.
As Gordon Waddell, orthopaedic surgeon at Glasgow's Nuffield Hospital who helped draft the Royal College of General Practitioners' guidelines for treating back pain, once wrote: "Our failure is in the 99 per cent of patients with simple backache, for whom, despite new investigations and all our treatments, the problem has become progressively worse."