Back pain is the world’s leading cause of human disability. In fact, the musculoskeletal health crisis has now escalated to the point of warranting it’s own world summit, which took place in October 2014 in partnership with ARMA (the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance) – an international network of more than 1,000 patient, professional and scientific organisations. BackCare was there amongst delegates from 30 countries at the Royal College of Surgeons in London to listen to representations from regional, national and international advisors and keynoters. The take home message: we must shift from treating symptoms medically as they arise to promoting health and preventing disease on a whole-population scale through organised initiatives and efforts of society. Since psychosocial factors are the most consistent predictors of who will develop back pain, it might mean initiatives to tackle stress and boost wellbeing. As NHS England’s Dr martin McShane put it, “the soft stuff is that hard stuff”.