on the role GPs, Bowen Technique therapists, physiotherapists, occupational
therapists, nurses, chiropractors, osteopaths and many other healthcare
providers can play
in helping their patients to return to or remain at work.
It is well documented that the NHS has a
low impact on musculoskeletal pain of unknown causes. Many people have
personal experience of this low impact causing many to seek alternative
therapies. Although many claim to help sufferers, nevertheless only
a few are completely effective. Of those few, the Bowen Technique is
one of the most effective with a high success rate and generally needing
only a few treatments to completely resolve the problem thus ensuring
less time is lost at work.
Despite decades of research
and posturing to explain chronic pain on the basis of a specific disease
or injury, and despite increasingly sophisticated radiological assessment,
little advance has been made in either achieving a specific structural
diagnosis or, more importantly, in reducing the health and economic
burden of chronic musculoskeletal pain.
If you are not familiar with the Bowen
Technique, you are not likely to refer patients to a practitioner. Because
of the effectiveness of this technique in treating a variety of disorders
in a relatively short space of time, we recommend you take a look at
some of the video clips on our 'videos' page, or seek a presentation
by a registered practitioner in your area. By referring patients for
treatment with the Bowen Technique you could save a huge amount on your
Coming second only
to the common cold, back pain is the highest reason for patients to
seek medical advice accounting for almost 7 million GP visits annually.
Estimated costs to the NHS are around £481 million per year, with a
further £197 million in non-NHS costs such as private consultations
With Bowen we cover a comprehensive service: Full consultation,
assessments, treatment with the Bowen Technique, education including
posture, exercises and guidelines on how to remain pain free. We believe
that this whole-person approach helps our clients adopt and maintain
a positive solution to the pain, discomfort and lack of mobility they
have been suffering.
Neck pain is second
only to low back pain as the most common musculoskeletal disorder in
population surveys and primary care, and, like low back pain, it poses
a significant health and economic burden, being a frequent source of
disability. While most individuals with acute neck pain do not seek
health care, those that do account for a disproportionate amount of
health care costs.
Research has shown that work is, generally
speaking, good for one’s health and wellbeing. Furthermore, being
out of work is detrimental to one’s health. This implies that
work is the latest ‘tool’ in the toolbox that healthcare
providers have available to treat their patients. It also means that
sick certification may actually hamper good health. This is especially
true in musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain, where staying
active has proven to be essential in an effective management regime.
A study carried out
by the Work Foundation showed that musculoskeletal disorders, including
back pain, neck pain and RSI-type conditions, made up 49% of absences
from work and 60% of permanent work incapacity in the European Union.
The fact that most of us spend considerable
time at work, going to work should be seen as part of the staying active
regime. It follows that as a health care provider we need to be able
to help people get back to work in the most effective way possible.
Naturally, we recommend GPs and others to refer patients for treatment
with an accredited and registered Bowen Technique practitioner. (For
your local BOWTECH* practitioners please go to www.Bowtech.com
*Bowtech is the official organization that trains and instructs practitioners
in the original technique as given by Tom Bowen to Oswald & Rene
can I do as a healthcare provider?
Employment is a very powerful clinical
tool and for this reason it is useful for all healthcare providers to
familiarise themselves with the evidence that supports the link between
work and health.
Many patients turn to their doctor or other healthcare provider for
reliable information about their health status. This gives a unique
opportunity for the healthcare provider to discuss employment and the
role of employment in health. Although some patients may feel that they
need a period of sick leave, it is also important to show the other
side of the medal. Most patients with musculoskeletal pain are better
off receiving non-interventionist treatment and by remaining at work
or returning to work swiftly.
To achieve this it may be necessary to explore the (perceived) barriers
to returning to or remaining at work. Discuss what a patient is able
to do in his/her condition and how this relates to his/her work. This
gives valuable information to the patient who can then discuss this
with their employers in order to agree a working regime that assists
them with recovery. Set realistic goals and manage expectations, but
in terms of healthcare and employment.
Assisting job seekers
There is general consensus that employment is good for someone’s
health and being out of work is often detrimental to one’s health
and well-being. This suggests that assisting a patient with musculoskeletal
pain to seek employment may have a positive impact on their health.
Some patients may experience barriers that ‘prevent’ them
from seeking employment and it may be helpful to explore these perceived
barriers with your patient. This is very similar to a patient experiencing
pain who wants to remain at or return to work.
In your conversation with the patient it may be useful to explore activities
that the patient is able to do with minimal discomfort. This can be
a powerful tool for the patient in realising that actually their musculoskeletal
pain does not necessarily put up a barrier to employment. Some may find
that starting with voluntary work or a part-time position is a good
way of ‘testing the water’.
Organisations such as the jobcentre may be useful in assisting patients
to find appropriate employment, but unfortunately not all advisors will
have the knowledge or skills necessary to adequately offer the most
appropriate advice to those living with persistent pain and discomfort
from unknown causes.
With Bowen today and start being part of the solution
tel: (+44) 01282 864705
or (+44) 07763 991 556