What is MECC?

It's time for all health and social care professionals to focus more on PREVENTION in our care of individuals.

The Five Year Forward View states

"The future health of millions of children, the sustainability of the NHS and the economic prosperity of Britain all now depend on a radical upgrade in prevention and public health"

Making Every Contact Count (MECC) is one way that we as health professionals can encourage healthier lifestyles in the people whom we meet and work with.

MECC for back pain will help raise awareness of back pain risks, back health /back pain, and more effective management of back pain

It means that all Allied Health Professional staff, when the opportunity arises, are confident and competent in starting a very brief conversation to raise the issue of back pain and give s​imple, relevant brief advice and signpost to further information and support.

What MECC is

  • Raising awareness about risks for developing back pain,

  • Simple brief advice to reduce back pain  risks and have better back pain management

  • Signposting to further information and support

What MECC is NOT

  • Clinical assessment or diagnosis for people complaining of back pain

  • Clinical advice for people with serious back pain or any medical condition

  • Risk stratification for people with a back condition

  • Treatment for people with a  back condition.

Can MECC make a difference?

MECC is one way of helping to promote a sea change in the way we think about and talk about health behaviours in the UK. It's not a magic bullet, but it is one important way that we can support people whom we meet to feel more capable of change, more motivated to change, and to have more opportunities to change.

Back pain, as we will see, is linked to lifestyle behaviours. Some of these lifestyle behaviours, particularly being overweight, smoking and doing little physical activity, also are risk factors for other conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and some cancers.

MECC for back pain could make a real impact on the risk factors, the incidence and the costs of back pain in the UK. 8 out of 10 people will experience back pain at some point in their lives, and over 7 million working days are lost each year due to absenteeism through back pain and related conditions.

Health behaviours have a big role in health inequalities too. Put simply, if you come from a poorer background, are unemployed or from a vulnerable group, you are more likely to have unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, suffer more from them,  and find it harder to access support when you feel ready to change.

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