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Physiotherapy expert to highlight the business benefit of lower back and neck pain prevention


The prevention of lower back and neck pain in the workplace and the associated benefits to a business will be the focus of an event at Robert Gordon University (RGU) next week.

RGU: Wellness TeaserHosted by RGU:Wellness, a unique occupational health service for employee absence management, the lunch and learn event will be led by expert physiotherapist, Nick Summersgill, who will talk about posture, back care and functional capacity evaluation in the workplace.

The free event, which is being held on Wednesday, December 10 from 1pm to 2pm at RGU’s Garthdee campus, will demonstrate how preventative strategies for the management of lower back and neck pain are essential to dealing with this common problem and increasing workforce capacity, as well as significantly reducing sickness absence.

“Back and neck pains are some of the most common conditions reported by adults across Europe, with almost 50% of men and women suffering from some form of lower back problem in the last 12 months,” says Nick Summersgill, who is the RGU:Wellness Physiotherapy Manager at the Garthdee clinic.

“The cost of back and neck pain to industry is massive. In the UK 12.5% of all sick days are attributable to low back pain, with those on sick leave costing 7% of NHS expenditure. Less visible but even more expensive is ‘presenteeism’ where workers with back and neck pain may still be at work but not working to capacity.

“Our typical response to the problem is reactive, often with less than satisfactory results, rather than looking to prevention.

“Preventative strategies including work and task design are essential in dealing with the problem, along with prompt efficient management of employees with low back and neck pain to get them back to work, preventing long term sickness absence.”

Nick has worked extensively in the public and private sector as a clinician, manager and teacher since he qualified as a remedial gymnast and physiotherapist in 1983.

Nick taught at RGU from 1990 to 1997 before moving onto a career in professional sport and private practice. His primary interests are muscular-skeletal medicine, rehabilitation and ergonomics.

The lunch and learn, which will cover prevention of lower back and neck pain in the workplace including tailor made rehabilitation, is taking place at RGU’s new Riverside East building.

Register online for the event

Release by
Anna DuthieCommunications Officer