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June/July 2018 (vol. 15/1)

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Back pain at work, part 3

Part 3: flare-ups, exercise and manual handling


The third article in this series focuses on how to help employees manage familiar flare-ups in back pain in the workplace, how to help employees maintain improvements in function following return to work after back pain, how to change the culture of back pain management in an organisation, and summarises the current evidence relating to manual handling for back pain.

The lifetime prevalence of low back pain is estimated to be 60%–70% for people in industrialised countries, with the peak prevalence occurring between ages 35 and 551. A recent systematic review was unable to provide robust estimates of the risk of low back pain recurrence, and the only factor identified that could predict recurrence was a previous history of it2. Recurrent flare-ups in back pain are highly distressing for some employees and will often occur without warning.

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)…

Author: Rogers D


Occupational Health at Work June/July 2018 (vol. 15/1) pp36-38

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