February/March 2018 (vol. 14/5)

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Back pain at work, part 1

Part 1: a biopsychosocial approach to managing back pain


In the first of a series of articles on back pain and work, chartered physiotherapist David Rogers explains what we know, and do not know, about back pain and its causes, occupational factors and why a biopsychosocial approach is vital for its occupational health management.

Back pain is one of the most common reasons for people to consult with a doctor, take time off work or use medication. It is the leading cause of long-term disability in the UK and is linked to other health complaints such as low mood, diabetes and heart disease. In terms of the global burden of disease, back pain was the most common cause of disability between 1990 and 20131


David Rogers is a chartered physiotherapist with over 20 years’ experience of helping people with musculoskeletal pain to recover function, return to work and regain their quality of life. His work is focused on applying a biopsychosocial approach to recovery, using cognitive behavioural principles aimed at maximising recovery. He is the co-author of Back to life: how to unlock your pathway to recovery when back pain persists (Random House, 2016).


Links to other articles in this series:

Back pain at work part 2


Author: Rogers D


Occupational Health at Work February/March 2018 (vol. 14/5) pp24-27

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