Best back pain sciatica course review
This is a difficult job. Mainly because nearly all the back pain sciatica courses I could review are paid courses. Which is understandable. Because if you have taken the time to put together a decent course you will have spent a lot of time on it. And time is money.
I didn’t want to spend hundreds/thousands reviewing courses. So, how have I determined the quality of these courses? What was my method?
- Look at the course content
- View any sample lessons
- Check the author’s biography
- Read any reviews
What makes me qualified to provide this “Best back pain sciatica course review”?
- I’ve been an osteopath for nearly 30 years, specialising in lower back pain and sciatica
- Had 7 years of lower back pain in my 20s.
- A Masters Degree in the Clinical Management of Pain
- Authored 2 books on lower back pain
- Seen 10,000+ patients with lower back pain / sciatica
- Created 3 back pain sciatica courses myself in the last 10 years
What do I mean by “back pain sciatica online course”?
I mean a course that you can undertake online to help you to recover from back pain / sciatica. I don’t mean an academic course.
How did I source these courses?
I used a few search terms on google:
- Back pain sciatica online course
- Back pain course
- Sciatica course
- Back pain education
As I said above, the course had to be aimed at people with lower back pain / sciatica. I excluded courses for fitness professionals and health professionals.
Back pain sciatica – the online courses
How To Fix Your Own Back Pain And Sciatica course (on Reed)
Featured on Reed.co.uk and has a strong focus on the mechanical causes of low back pain and sciatica. There was no indication that the author understood pain mechanisms. I couldn’t find out who the actual author is. There was no sample course content. The course was listed as being provided by “Skill Success”. There were no reviews.
How to Fix your own Back Pain and Sciatica Course (on Udemy)
This may be the same course as featured above – the content list looks pretty similar. There’s a lot more information here. The author is Mark Perren Jones, a massage therapist. He has clearly done his reading, and as I said above, there’s a strong focus on the mechanics. I know this because there are 7 sample lessons. He has great reviews – 4.5 stars out of 5 from 148 (at time of viewing). The cost is very low at £49.99. In total there are just under an hour of videos, which seemed a bit thin to me. But I can go over the top with information, admittedly! Within the sample lessons, it was all video. You may prefer video to any other medium. There is no indication that Mr Perren Jones’ understanding of pain mechanisms matches his understanding of mechanics.
The whole course seems to be built around Stuart McGill’s Lower Back Pain protocol.
Save Yourself from Low Back Pain by Paul Ingraham
Paul is a prolific writer on pain mechanisms and treatments. He used to be a massage therapist, but became disenchanted. So he moved to reviewing the available science and publishing all of this online. And he does this very well.
Full disclosure: I like Paul’s work. I’ve exchanged a couple of emails with him about the evidence for sitting contributing to lower back pain.
Paul’s course is very comprehensive and very text-heavy. In fact I’ve never found a video of him at all. He provides huge value in publishing a lot of content for free. If you want his full course, it’s $19.95. It’s almost certainly a bargain at that price. I’m afraid I couldn’t see any of the easy star reviewing systems we’re so used to. But he has some excellent reviews from very happy customers. In true scientific fashion, he is also transparent about the most common complaints he gets. They tend to fit into 2 categories: too much negativity and the content being too advanced/sciencey.
Because the evidence for mechanical influences in lower back pain are conflicting, you won’t find a lot of practical tips on that topic. But Paul is very good at explaining pain mechanisms.
You’d expect a course from Harvard Health to be pretty comprehensive. The 3 authors are all Medical Doctors, which probably gives you some reassurance. Rightly or wrongly. The price is $39.95.
The content looks a lot thinner than Paul Ingraham’s course. There are no sample lessons, just promotional information. It does say there’s “videos, quizzes and interactive content designed for a proven learning experience”. The way it’s promoted is certainly slicker than others. I’m sure it will have been created with a much higher budget.
What’s missing from these back pain sciatica online courses?
What do I think is lacking from all the courses I’ve seen. A strong focus on maintaining your motivation. Having seen 10,000+ lower back pain/sciatica patients over the last 30 years, there are recurring themes. The biggest one is that when you start to feel better, you revert to your old habits. Then months or years later you have a relapse. That’s why lower back pain is the single biggest cause of disability in the world. It keeps coming back. You need a system/plan to prevent relapse.
I hope this Best Back Pain Sciatica Course Review has been really helpful. You’ve done well to get to here. If you’d like to sample my own course for lower back pain and sciatica, it’s free. I can’t promise it’s better than those covered here. But there’s a big focus on maintaining motivation, loads of video content, and it rivals Paul’s course for comprehensiveness and being evidence-based. You can find it here: Best Back Pain / Sciatica Online Course>>.