Keeping you fit and healthy to work
Whether you work at a desk or have a more physical occupation, your job may expose you to stresses and strains that can cause you pain and discomfort.
Habitual poor posture, prolonged sitting at a desk, driving long distances, awkward lifting and carrying, or extended periods of repetitive motion can contribute to daily aches and discomfort in the workplace and beyond.
Common musculoskeletal conditions such as back and neck pain, joint and muscle discomfort, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow to name a few, can be experienced. Furthermore, workplace stress can also increase the amount of pain you feel by causing muscle tension and spasms.
It is natural to worry about your symptoms and the cause of pain and discomfort. Osteopaths have a well-deserved, evidence-based reputation for providing care, management and advice, designed to relieve pain and aid you in your recovery, allowing you to return to work as soon as you are able.
“The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that 30.8 million working days are lost each year due to MSK issues such as back, neck and upper limb pain in the UK alone.”
Advice for keeping healthy at work
These simple tips keep you healthy at work and avoid unnecessary strain on your muscles and joints’
- Frequent short breaks away from the computer may help avoid back, neck and eye strain
- Ensuring that your chair and computer display are appropriately adjusted so that the top of the screen is at eye level, may be more comfortable for your upper body and neck
- When lifting, judge whether you can do this safely by yourself or need help (don’t be afraid to ask for assistance). Always keep the item you are lifting close to your body. Bend your knees and make your legs do the work. Try not to twist your back – turn with your feet
- When driving, make sure you are positioned comfortably and take regular breaks on long journeys – at least once every two hours.
Osteopathic care is based on the individual needs of the patient and so varies depending on your occupation, age, fitness levels and diagnosis.
You can discuss with your osteopath the impact that work may have on your health. They will take the time to understand your symptoms, medical history, work and personal lifestyle which in turn will help them make an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your issue and formulate a treatment plan with you that will achieve the best outcome.
Your osteopath will always complete a routine examination that checks for more serious diagnoses, advising and discussing with you, any further action that might be required. This plan may involve several visits and, very occasionally, further tests and/or referrals to another appropriate health care professional. Your treatment may begin at your first appointment. You do not need to consult your GP before you visit an osteopath, although you may wish to do so.
Osteopaths use a wide range of gentle hands-on techniques that focus on releasing tension, stretching muscles and improving mobility. Along with hands-on treatment, your osteopath can offer advice on posture, lifting and workplace ergonomics so you do not need to take time off work.
They may also prescribe exercises which are often used to aid recovery and provide on-going management.
The UK National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidance for health services that recommend manual therapy, such as that provided by osteopaths, as part of a package of care for the management of conditions such as low back pain and sciatica, and osteoarthritis.