Pure Physiotherapy is one of the leading Occupational Health Physiotherapy providers across the country and we work with companies of all sizes providing bespoke solutions to musculoskeletal (MSK) issues in the work place.
The fittest population group are those in employment. We recognise the importance of keeping people at work and also facilitating a return to work when employees have been off on short- and long-term sickness absence. We work closely with the employer and employee to deliver an individualised rehabilitation programme and return to work strategy taking in to consideration the needs of both parties.
We also offer bespoke manual handling training which can be delivered on site. This training busts many myths around MSK pain and manual and sedentary work and encourages employees to explore various strategies in the moving of loads in the work place. We also cover the legal aspect of manual handling, basic anatomy and physiology to explain the importance of keeping fit for work and practical aspects covering tasks required in the workplace.
An area we particularly cover is low back pain and lifting. In the past, many trainers encouraged employees to keep their back straight when lifting and bend their knees, but we now know that the difference in load through the spine between a squat and a stoop position is insignificant. What is important is that employees are encouraged to maintain good levels of strength and flexibility to encourage better movement variability which will reduce the chance of an MSK issue in the workplace.
The spine is strong and can cope with up to 3 tonnes of load (equivalent to an African elephant!!)
We provide advice on site, at one of our clinics or remotely to help manage in the early stages of an injury or if a person has not attended for work. Early intervention has been shown to reduce overall time of work and encourage a quicker return to work, which is beneficial to both the employee and employer.
Most injuries in and out of work would be classified as soft tissue injuries and it is important these patients are given the right advice early. Often these patients will attend GP surgeries or A&E departments and commonly are signed off work and told to rest.
This goes against current guidance which is to encourage early return to work, protect the injured area if required by modifying activity but to keep the area moving and exposed to some load in order for it to repair.
We would liaise with the employees line manager if some modification of duties were required for a short period to help keep the employee at work.
We also offer workstation assessments along the guidelines set out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Clients will often already have had workstation assessments carried out at work and new chairs/desks etc provided. However, very rarely has the employee been taken into consideration in terms of their strength/flexibility/lifestyle etc.
Having a sedentary job does not make you more at risk of developing musculoskeletal pain, but being sedentary at work and outside of work can so often a bespoke exercise rehab programme is needed for the employee to address the issues that purely putting a new chair in will not.
We encourage moving the focus away from finding the perfect posture and encouraging the employee(s) to think more dynamically about their work postures has been shown a far more effective way of dealing with MSK issues in the workplace. We often find that thousands of pounds are spent on new equipment to solve the issue when some simple exercise/activity/lifestyle advice would have solved the problem at a fraction of the cost.
This can also include assessing employees working in manual areas/factory lines and suggesting any modifications that may benefit an individual or team. We also carry out car assessments to suggest any changes or adaptations for employees who have to drive large amounts for work.
A growing body of evidence shows that on the whole, work is good for physical health, mental health and wellbeing. People do not need to be 100% fit to engage with work and it is a key goal of Physiotherapists and all Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) to enable people to safely remain in or return to work wherever possible.
AHPs play a central role in helping people to return to work and to manage their own health and wellbeing. AHPs assess functional difficulties in both the clinical and workplace settings in order to provide the most appropriate solutions for long-term benefit. All Pure Physiotherapy clinical staff are competent and experienced allied health professional, members of the CSP and as such are able to use advisory reports to support people to remain in or return to work.
please ask your physio about a ‘Advisory Fitness for Work Report’ (fit to work form).