Not only does chronic hip, knee and lower back pain impact adversely on all aspects of an individual’s personal and social lives, it also impacts on their working lives. In the workplace, joint pain can force people to change duties, reduce hours, take sick leave and retire early. Each year, osteoarthritis results in 3 million lost working days, and back pain 4 million lost working days. Adding to this, the association between chronic pain, MSK conditions, depression and stress can lead to increased absence from work. As the prevalence of joint pain increases with age and the working age is extended, the impact of joint pain will increase.
Joint Pain Advice (JPA) is an inexpensive and effective model of care which has been successfully tested across a range of organisations. The flexible model can be easily implemented into existing workplace structures and pathways, and the skills and knowledge needed to deliver JPA to employees can be taught to a range of professionals.
JPA in the workplace offers the potential to:
• provide easier, more convenient access to effective care to a working population;
• increase people’s physical and mental function, wellbeing and quality of life enabling them to carry out their normal activities of daily living;
• reduce presenteeism and absenteeism at work; and
• develop a healthier, happier workforce.
“My advice for anyone who has the opportunity to go to this clinic is do it.”Hannah, Employee Eden Project
A study by the Health Innovation Network and the Bone and Joint Research Group (part of Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust) tested the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of the JPA model delivered in the workplace to employees.
Employees experienced significant improvement in pain, function, disability and physical activity.
JPA highlighted other appropriate services to employees that they were not aware of and participants took up other healthy workplace initiatives.
92 per cent of participants were extremely likely or likely to recommend JPA to their friends, family and colleagues.
Managing Deterioration in non-acute settings
The Health Innovation Network (HIN) are working with partners across south London to support care homes to increase the use of deterioration management tools to improve the identification, management,