Over recent years many offices have had a strong push towards ergonomic seating, having desks at the right height, wrist supports etc for employees because of the Health and Safety at Work laws and an employers duty of care. But what is the hidden cost of working from home with none of these practices in place?
Prior to the pandemic, UNISON reported that 12 million work days are lost due to back pain every year. The World Health Organization say that in industrialized countries soe 60-70% of adults experience back pain at some stage in their life.
The pandemic has resulted in the majority of office workers having to adapt their homes to set up ‘temporary’ offices. Many people work at a kitchen table which is the incorrect height, others work hunched over laptops while still others sit on their bed to work. Although this is more comfortable for many in the short-term, as a clinician with 17 years’ experience, I have to ask what the true cost of this ‘comfort’ is, when I know that once my acupuncture clinic is allowed to re-open, the vast majority of my clients will have back, neck and shoulder problems.
It is a very sad irony that at a time when the government has identified a growing trend in the amount of opioids used as pain-killers, that the Welsh government has simultaneously forced acupuncturists to close during the pandemic. The British Acupuncture Council supports all acupuncturists across the UK and has issued guidelines for safe practice stating that during lockdown we should treat ‘urgent or critical care’ clients. Our insurance company has said they will cover us so long as we a) follow guidelines from our professional body and b) obey the law. So as you can see, there is conflicting advice during lockdown.
Regardless of whether they believe the research is there to prove the efficacy of acupuncture for chronic pain relief or not, the fact of the matter is that opioids are extremely harmful over time and ‘acupuncture first does no harm’. In my years of experience, I have found that acupuncture for back pain brings rapid, effective and lasting relief with no adverse side-effects.
The good news is that functional medicine, which can be done remotely, can also benefit people suffering from chronic pain, including inflammatory arthritis.
So there are several options available to you if you are in pain, whether it is using functional medicine, lifestyle medicine or acupuncture. Please get in touch on 07715 239 999 if you would like to discuss your options.