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The spine is a fascinating but complex part of the human body, so it’s no surprise that for many of us it causes problems. Today in the UK back and neck pain has a significant impact on more than 80% of the population – that’s a staggering 51 million people. Musculoskeletal disorders are one of the leading causes of sickness absence, estimated to cost our economy £15bn annually. 

At BackCare, we aim to significantly reduce the impact of back pain through our publications, funding research, an informative website, telephone helpline and local support groups. Established 50 years ago (and you can read more about our history here) we’re the national charity for people with back and neck pain with HRH The Prince of Wales as our Patron.

Crucially, BackCare is dedicated to helping people avoid preventable spinal problems, as well as supporting those living with back and neck pain. One way we do this is advising companies on products they’re designing. The most recent brand we’ve worked with is Marks & Spencer – assisting them on the creation of two new kids’ backpacks – perfect for Back to School.

Most parents know ensuring good back health in children as they grow is really important and carrying 25 schoolbooks in a drawstring bag isn’t a good idea, but sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re picking the right product – ones that are a good idea. These M&S backpacks are not only accredited by us but come with a leaflet on looking after your back. They also have reflective tabs to keep kids safe and seen. 

September is a time of new beginnings, when we can think about how we and our kids can focus on our wellbeing for the year ahead. Purchasing a backpack like this new one from M&S is a small step, but with 80% of the population experiencing back pain it’s a vital one.

Read the latest edition of our quarterly magazine Back Talk here

Shop the M&S BackCare Backpack - (grey) & (pink)

Date for your diary – BackCare Awareness Week (#backpainweek) – 8th to 12th October 2018

By 2020, 100% of M&S products will have at least one Plan A attribute and by 2025 every product will have attributes which address all priority social, ethical and environmental impacts.