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From the Desk of Nichola Adams

How to look after an employee with a Musculoskeletal (MSK) condition

At Inspired Ergonomics, we have had the privilege of helping people with a huge variety of musculoskeletal issues through our ergonomic consultancy services. We take into account their relevant medical history and explore all ways to reduce postural pain at work. We work with our clients to address the issue at its core, including workstation ergonomics, posture education, exercise, nutrition, rest requirements and signpost on to other specialist support services. In this way we are able to help everyone struggling with general postural issues, as well as more complex, chronic conditions.

It is our passion to reduce the impact of any back issue on a person’s ability to work to their full potential. This includes addressing inflammatory conditions that impact on back health, such as Arthritis.

Indeed, the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society recently published their UK wide survey of Adults with rheumatoid arthritis and Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis on the impact of their disease on work. As Professor Karen Walker-Bone states in the foreword ‘employers and managers can make an enormous difference to work accessibility by being supportive of, and flexible with, their employees. This doesn’t need to be expensive and investment in solutions will quickly provide an ROI, as well as creating loyal and hard-working employees when they feel looked after. Reading the case studies emphasises just how important this is.

As the report states, supporting anyone with a health challenge to stay in work, through simple changes and providing help and support, is hugely beneficial to all concerned and benefits society as a whole. I have seen many arthritis sufferers, as well as those with other MSK conditions, struggle for years to stay comfortable whilst at work. Yet education and awareness to simple solutions are highly effective in easing discomfort levels.

The NRAS report states that early intervention and support is essential following diagnosis to prevent the disease or issue potentially leading to job loss. Reported advantages of continuing to work are:

Financial security Sense of purpose and achievement All it requires to look after an employee with a back condition are a few reasonable adjustments to their workstation and work design to ensure an accessible and comfortable working environment

Our ergonomic consultations include the latest in psychological research when dealing with MSK clients and embraces a cross disciplinary approach to dealing with complex MSK cases to empower clients to take a proactive approach in their own recovery process. As back pain is multi-causal, we are passionate in using this diverse approach to bring about meaningful benefit and constantly look at additional ways to improve. When dealing with a chronic condition, it is essential to provide some easy tools to reduce the pain in their everyday lives, tapping into the power of our own brains and reducing dependency on pain killers.

For more information on our ergonomic workstation consultations, see or see the recording of our latest webinar at

Nichola Adams

Founder of Inspired Ergonomics

Nichola Adams, MSc Health Ergonomics, Tech CIEHF, ACPOHE Reg Member, is the Founder of Inspired Ergonomics.

Nichola is a specialist in back pain disorders in the workplace. Inspired Ergonomics regularly provides consultancy services to leading UK and International companies on how to reduce and prevent back pain in the workplace as well as working with rehabilitation companies.

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