Our statement in full:
MSKReform – Media Response
On Sunday 10th January 2021, Channel 5 aired a programme titled ‘Big Fat Lies about Diet and Exercise’. In one section of the programme there was a description of spinal pathology accompanied by imagery and advice surrounding specific movements to avoid, which we as healthcare professionals found to be inaccurate and unhelpful to the public.
The narrative depicted was that the spine, and particularly the discs, are fragile, easily damaged, and therefore warrant avoidance of certain movements. However, we understand from the contemporary evidence base that this is not the case. Spines, and in particular discs, are strong and robust structures. Whilst there are instances where they can contribute to pain and discomfort, we cannot attribute the experience of back pain solely to the disc or spine. We know that exercise and movement in all guises are good for back pain and should not be avoided in 98% of cases.
In our Manifesto for Reform we have a policy promise that we would respond to unhelpful media stories within 48 hours of release with a supporting counter narrative.
Along with this statement we are also funding sponsored adverts across social media over the coming week to drive traffic towards mskr.info when searches are made for ‘back pain’ or ‘slipped disc’.
It is important that we counter misinformation with correct information and we will do this at every opportunity. We also feel however it is important that we continue to challenge ideas and not individuals.
Ashley James – Associate Director of Influence – MSKReform
Jack Chew – Director – MSKReform
Felicity Thow – Deputy Director – MSKReform