The health and safety executive estimate that in 2013/14 there were 526,000 cases of work related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) – about 42% of all work related illnesses.
MSDs are the second biggest cause of absence from work, affecting more than 1 million people at a cost to the economy (estimated in 2007) of £7bn.
If you are self-employed, taking time off work with musculoskeletal problem can have a devastating effect on you and your family’s financial security, so getting back to work as quickly as possible is essential. That can seem impossible when you’re in pain and unable to complete your usual daily activities, but movement really helps.
The Work Foundation recommend that, if you’re affected by MSDs, you work with your employers and healthcare professionals to find ways of returning to work as soon as possible, using a combination of treatment, lifestyle changes and adjustment to working conditions. They also suggest that early intervention is key to recovery, hastening your return to a normal, healthy lifestyle, and limiting the negative psychological effects of an extended period of sick leave.
How our osteopaths can help
Our osteopaths can support in many ways, including:
● Seeing you quickly: Our osteopaths are usually able to see you within a couple of days of seeking an appointment. As osteopaths are primary health care professionals, you don’t need to be referred by a GP unless you’re seeking NHS-funded treatment or your health insurance provider insists that you see a GP first.
● Offering professional treatment and advice: Once they’ve assessed your condition, an osteopath will usually begin treatment straight away. They can also provide advice on how to avoid making the condition worse or re-injuring yourself.
● Helping you return to work: Many MSDs can be treated by osteopaths over a few visits. Treatment costs just [insert your fee] per session, which compared to loss of earnings or productivity is a worthwhile investment to help you return to work promptly.
● Providing fit notes: A fit note provides your employer with advice on what they can do to help an employee return safely to work. This may include adjustments to working conditions, such as reduced hours, a different workstation set up, or recommending avoiding activities that may prevent or slow recovery, such as heavy lifting. Osteopaths are able to issue fit notes which will give employers this expert advice.
● Making onward referrals: With your permission, we will share information about your health with other healthcare professionals, such as your GP. If your condition requires the intervention of another expert, we can provide a letter of referral detailing the diagnosis and any treatment that we’ve been able to provide, which may help you more rapidly get the help you need to return to health.