- The new digital treatment for chronic back pain could help alleviate pressure on the NHS – it’s estimated that 10 million people in the UK suffer from persistent back pain1, costing the UK economy almost £12Bn each year.
- Joint Academy’s digital treatment connects patients to a registered physiotherapist who builds a tailored programme through the app.
- Preliminary research results show that patients in the Joint Academy back programme lower their pain by as much as 40 percent after just ten weeks in the treatment.
- Founded in Sweden, Joint Academy has treated over 70,000 patients across its knee and hip programmes and launched in the UK market last year.
Joint Academy, the digital clinic for treating chronic joint pain, has announced a new programme that could help millions in the UK manage their chronic back pain. The new digital treatment is available through the Joint Academy app, based on extensive research that shows that physiotherapy reduces back pain and the risk of pain getting worse, likely by strengthening the local muscles.
According to the British Association of Spine Surgeons, 80 per cent of British adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Research shows that back pain is costing the UK economy almost £12 billion annually and in addition to other musculoskeletal problems, such as knee and hip pain, it’s resulting in over 30 million working days lost each year.
Waiting lists in the UK are also at an all time high across the UK. 5.6 million people2 are waiting for treatment in England alone, and physiotherapy waiting lists were as long as four months even before the pandemic3.
Asif Dewan, UK Managing Director at Joint Academy, said, “For those experiencing chronic back pain it can have a hugely negative effect on daily life. Millions of people are suffering from it but it’s typically considered a non-urgent condition. But back pain is the leading cause of disability in the UK and results in millions of working days lost every single year. If we can help even a fraction of these patients, we can alleviate some of the pressure on the NHS, reduce the reliance on pain medication and help everyone from insurers and employers to make a real change in people’s lives.”
Dewan continued, “Our new back pain programme is there for people to use from the comfort of home, with the support of a registered physiotherapist. Our early research indicates it can help patients lower their pain by as much as 40 per cent in just ten weeks.”
Through Joint Academy’s app, patients connect with a registered physiotherapist who builds a treatment programme tailored to the individual. This consists of daily exercises, demonstrated through videos, tools to track progress, and patient education on the condition. The patient has access to their own, personal physiotherapist as part of the treatment through chat and calls. The exercises take up to 10 minutes to complete and patients get daily reminders through push notifications. The programme is based on extensive research and doesn’t require any technical equipment.
Dr Leif Dahlberg, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer, commented, “There’s ample research showing exercise and physiotherapy are efficient ways to treat chronic back pain – this is something we’ve known for a long time. The problem is that most people don’t know what exercises to do, or how to do them. Even if they see a physiotherapist, research shows that a big proportion of the patients are unlikely to do the exercises over time. Compliance is important and that’s why we’ve built nudging into our treatment. Daily notifications remind and encourage the patients to do the exercises, and take a greater responsibility for their treatment, improving their results.”
Joint Academy was founded in Sweden in 2014 by father and son, Dr Leif Dahlberg and Jakob Dahlberg. As a computer science student, Jakob saw an opportunity to scale Leif’s leading research into osteoarthritis and chronic joint pain, to help more people around the world. Leif Dahlberg is a professor in orthopedics and has more than 35 years of experience of research in cartilage and joints and has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific studies.
In addition to the back programme, Joint Academy has programmes to manage chronic hip and knee pain. To date it has helped more than 70,000 people manage their chronic pain. The company launched in the UK in 2020.
For more information go to www.jointacademy.com/gb/en/
1 The State of Musculoskeletal Health, 2019 Report – VersusArthritis.org