Looking at recent government data work related problems (see data below) for manual workers, such as plumbers, builders, roofers and sometimes nurses and other occupations, that lift heavy items or must lift repetitively have the highest incidence of aches and pains. Desk workers also have predominantly more problems with low back and especially neck ache and pains and RSIs (repetitive strain injuries). This mostly arises from sitting with poor posture, hunched over a laptop and or desk top computer for hours at a time, while typing or using a mouse. Osteopathy uses manipulation to improve accumulated tension and in association with postural, ergonomic and exercise advice to prevent further tension build up.

Causative factors in low back pain disorders:

The prevalence of back disorders of 212,000 cases averaged between 2009/10-2011/12 demonstrated that 113,000 cases ( 53%) were classified as occurring from manual handling, lifting and carrying activities 11,000 cases (5%) occurred through keyboard or repetitive movement activities 53,000 (25%) from awkward or tiring positions and 15,000 (7%) from workplace accidents.

Examining the case data from 2013-2015 it demonstrates that lifting and carrying remains the primary driver for low back pain at work. This has also traditionally been the case for many years across all industries. Material manipulation which also involves moving, pushing shoving and lifting is also an important cause presented.

Causes of Upper Limb Disorders:

Of the total prevalence of WRULDs (Work Related Upper Limb Disorders) across this time period 2009/10-2011/12, 203,000 cases manual handling, lifting and carrying accounted for 81,000 cases (40%), keyboard or repetitive action accounted for 56’000 cases (27%), awkward or tiring positions 29,000 cases (14%) and workplace accidents 13,000 cases (6%).

Examining the case data from 2012-2014 it demonstrates that heavy lifting, holding tools for periods of time, excessive keyboard work and pulling shoving carrying materials were the main causes for WRULDS cited by GP’s and their patients in this period.