Occupational injuries account for many of the 350 million working days a year lost in Britain. Osteopaths are skilled at discovering underlying causes of pain. Trained to have a thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology, they use their hands to investigate and treat injuries to the ligaments, muscles and joints. Poor posture can contribute to daily aches and pains whether you lift heavy loads, sit at the PC incorrectly or drive for long periods. An osteopath can advise on correct posture and movement and can give instruction on back care and preventative exercises.
Significant types of illnesses due to work are disorders pf the muscles, tendons and joints, particularly in the back, hands and arms). Symptoms vary from mild aches and pains to severe pain and disability.
• Caused by manual handling and lifting
Muscle and tendon injuries
Intervertebral disc lesions (‘slipped disc’)
• Caused by forceful or repetitive movements
Carpal tunnel syndromes
Epicondylitis (e.g. ‘tennis elbow’)
• Caused by unsuitable posture or repetitive movements
Low back pain
Neck and shoulder pain
Repetitive Strain Injury
For the employer
• For years, a number of large companies have retained osteopaths as part of their permanent company health teams. Many smaller companies have also benefited from liaison with their local osteopaths.
• Having an osteopath involved in your staff care programmes can lead to a fitter workforce and improved morale, increased productivity and less time off through ill-health
For the employee
• Most of the 3000 osteopaths in the UK work from private practices. However, many GP’s are working more closely with osteopaths and can offer the option of referring the patient to the osteopath on the NHS.
• Many people consult an osteopath privately. Telephone local practices for fees in your area.
• Many private health insurances schemes now cover osteopathic treatment (discuss the details with your company)
• You do not need to consult your GP before you visit an osteopath although you may wish to do so.
• Osteopaths can provide you with a sick note if you need time off work.
What your osteopath needs to know
To reach a full diagnosis, your osteopath will need to know about your job:
• Is your work repetitive?
• Do you have heavy lifting?
• Do you have to bend frequently?
• Do you have to work in an awkward posture?
• Does your work involve frequent finger, hand or arm movements?
• Do you have any work breaks?
• Are you working in bad light conditions?
• Do you sit down at work and for how long?
• Do you spend a great deal of your day on the telephone?
• Are you expected to work deadlines?
• Of the tasks you perform, which cause you the most discomfort?
• What is your working relationship with your peers and employers?