This chart is designed to be used alongside the Back Pain Action Guide book. The book uses a new model that I have developed to help explain back pain and give you step by step guidance to help you develop your own action plan. Without the book this chart won't be useful to you.

Your Personal Action Planner

General and Main Pond Action Plan
See your doctor or physiotherapist, make sure you have a diagnosis and that that your action plan is suitable for you
Posture Pool Action Plan
Check that your computer position, desk and chair are set up correctly
Make a lumbar roll and try it
Use a timer to remind you to take regular breaks
Get a new mattress
Find local posture classes such as Yoga, Tai Chi, Alexander Technique, Pilates
Flexibility Pool Action Plan
Decide which flexibility exercises you will try
Decide which of the muscle stretches you will try
Print the flexibility exercise pages and set up a daily programme
Find local flexibility classes such as Yoga, Tai Chi, Alexander Technique, Pilates
Core Stability Pool Action Plan
Decide which core stability exercises you will try (discuss with your physiotherapist)
Print the core stability exercise pages and set up a daily programme
Find local core stability classes such as Yoga, Tai Chi, Alexander Technique, Pilates, Body Balance
Investigate DVD's or books for core stability exercises at home
Thoughts and Beliefs Pool Action Plan
Ask yourself the questions listed in the thoughts and beliefs action plan. Talk to your doctor or physiotherapist if they highlight problems
Download the New Zealand guidelines on managing lower back pain - it contains an interesting questionnaire
Borrow or buy a copy of Explain Pain (expensive but worth it)
Talk to your doctor about pain management programmes
Try relaxation if you are feeling anxious or worried (would you prefer classes, audio, face to face etc)
Get more formal help with counseling and therapy if you think need it
Fitness Pool Action Plan
If you haven’t exercised for a while talk to your doctor about a starting point
Write down the different ways you intend to increase your fitness levels ( use the ideas in the book)
Find someone to exercise with
Measure your progress by setting goals and keeping an exercise diary
Find out if there are any local classes you could try that would help improve your fitness such as aerobics, aqua aerobics, spinning classes, body balance, circuits, racquet sports etc
Lifestyle Pool Action Plan
Talk to your doctor about stopping smoking - investigate the options
Get a good book about stopping smoking or look on the internet for help
Do you need extra help with weight loss? If so talk to your doctor/practice nurse to find out what is available to help
Decide on your weight loss goals and method. Look into local programmes or clubs such as weight watchers
Start using a calorie counter or keep a calorie journal
Decide how you are going to increase your activity levels