The Isle of Man’s Healthcare Professionals recently hosted the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Society for Back Pain Research; ‘Procedures, Placebos and Poppycock’ which took place at the Sefton Hotel. The Society is a multi-disciplinary organisation and comprises orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, rheumatologists, physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and basic scientists, who all have an interest in aspects of low back pain, including its causes, assessment and treatment.
Local members of the Society, Michelle Breed, Acting Therapy Services Manager and Mr Ian Wright, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, approached the Society to hold the international conference in the Isle of Man as it would be the ideal venue. Other venues for this prestigious event have previously included Cambridge, Belfast and Odense.
Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK said: “Opportunities like this do not come round often; it is brilliant that the Society for Back Pain Research has chosen the Island as a venue to hold their AGM. I applaud Michelle and Mr Wright’s initiative in organising and securing the conference; this will, undoubtedly, raise the profile of the Island as an international setting for such prestigious events.”
Michelle explains: “The Isle of Man transport and hospitality sectors really pulled together to make the conference affordable for those who attended. The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, taxi firms, local hotels and guest houses all provided special delegate rates. Student members could attend the conference and stay on the Island for two nights for under £200. The lively atmosphere was enhanced by local band Retrospect, fronted by Noble’s Hospital’s Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Mr Mike Divers.”
The conference is a forum where innovative new therapies and established treatments are scrutinised in a rigorous scientific atmosphere. The research papers and posters are peer reviewed and the abstracts are published online in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.
Michelle continued: “This conference was an opportunity for local clinical practitioners who treat acute and chronic back pain to be able to evaluate their service provision in line with the new evidence and research that was presented. It has put the Island on map as a viable location for such events; it also demonstrates that we can hold our own in an international arena. I would like to thank all the local companies who have helped to make this conference a success.”
Seventy-two delegates attended the conference, who heard from speakers from a variety of different backgrounds presenting on a range of topics. The guest speakers included; Lecturer, Dr Anne Redgrave, Doctor to the British Olympic Rowing Team, who presented on managing back pain in elite rowers, and Professor Andrew Carr Nuffield, Professor of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Sciences University of Oxford, who spoke about the ‘Ethical and Practical Issues with Placebo Surgery in Clinical Trials’.
The conference finished with an award ceremony. The Local Organisers Award for best contribution to the theme of the event, which Michelle and Mr Wright agreed to judge and which was sponsored by Noble’s Hospital, was awarded to T. Pincus and J. Henderson for their presentation on ‘Low back pain patients ratings of videos depicting feared movements’.
Mr Wright said: “It was a wonderful opportunity and a great success for our local and international delegates to share new ways of working and best practice, and will hugely benefit our patients and staff in the Isle of Man.”