Pro-Active Solutions for the Prevention and Treatment

of Personally-generated  Body System Dysfunctions

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The Evidence

2014 Musculo-skeletal

Health Risk Report

 

 

 

 

To access the risk spreadsheet

 

CLICK HERE

 

 

 

PREAMBLE

 

When it comes to searching for the cause of the personally-generated musculo-skeletal dysfunctions there appears to be a gap in both literature and practice about what to look for and where to look for it.
 
The gap extends from medical research, through radiology departments, into surgeries and from there fans out through the broad range of therapeutic modalities.
 
There is a cause (in fact it is usually more than one cause) of most of the personally-generated musculo-skeletal dysfunctions, particularly lower back pain; you just have to know where to look for it.
 
There are clues that are not difficult to detect. Think about it, we’re dealing with body mechanics here. If we were motor mechanics we’d be out of a job if we didn’t know what to look and listen for when someone brought their car in for repair.
 
A frequent cause of back pain is a herniated disc. The radiology report focuses on 'what is', not what's caused 'what is'.

 

‘ … there is a central disc protrusion with a focul annular tear …’


The important question of what's caused the ‘central disc protrusion with a focul annular tear,' is not addressed.

 
Whilst this may be a generalization, in the manipulative therapy industry there is always the temptation to rub, crunch, heat, vibrate and shock the spot where it hurts and not treat the underlying cause(s) of the problem. This is understandable; it’s what the customer expects. Along with a pain killer, it at least feels like it's doing some good.

 

How good it is in the long term is debatable, particularly if the problem is generated by a lack of strength and flexibility in parts of the body quite removed from the place where it hurts.
 
As a rule of thumb, if the problem is generated by a lack of strength and flexibility then failure to prescribe strength and flexibility exercises falls short of the mark of best practice.

THE MEDICAL RESEARCH

 

The (Australian) National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) points out in its report on musculo-skeletal pain;
 
 ‘The majority (approximately 95% of cases) of acute low back pain is idiopathic; serious conditions are rare causes of acute low back pain.’
 
The word 'idiopathic' means 'the cause is not known'. For a robust medical research organisation their findings do not provide useful advice for those who are in pain, those paid to diagnose the cause of the pain and those who treat people in pain.  (It could be good news for workers compensation insurers eager to avoid compensation claims. The incident may not be to blame at all. It could be 'idiopathic'!) 


THE FITNESS RESEARCH

In the majority of cases, lower back (or any musculo-skeletal pain) is not a medical problem, it’s a fitness (strength and flexibility) problem and it's not often that a fitness problem can be solved with a medical solution. Fitness problems can only be solved by people themselves.
 
Most people don’t understand that musculo-skeletal pain is the body’s way of telling them to get back into alignment and to become stronger so the body can be supported in its correct alignment.

 

Pain is not a call to merely deaden the pain. It’s a warning sign, like the light that flashes on the dashboard of your car telling you that you’ve run dangerously low on oil. There are two ways to turn the light off - put more oil into the engine, or cut the wire.

 

The results of the Miller Health 2009 musculo-skeletal health survey provide powerful evidence of the need for people to keep themselves strong and flexible. In fact you can close up all the musculo-skeletal research institutes and put down the glasses. Just start training.

 

The results of The Miller Health 2014 Musculo-skeletal Health Survey in which 1236 people completed in the musculo-skeletal risk profile show that people who rate the condition of their musculo-skeletal system highly are people with a regular and systematic strength and flexibility training program.

 

An analysis of the results of a survey of 1236 people who have attended our musculo-skeletal health seminar over the last 7 years, shows that around 70% of people are at risk of making a claim on their employer's workers compensation insurance.

 

Here's the link to the results spreadsheet.

 

If you save the spreadsheet to your computer you'll be able to manipulate the data to gain a better understanding of what the information means.

 

Chances are the results from your organisation may be similar.

 

HIGHLIGHT OF THE RESULTS

 

 

Item

People

scoring 10/10

People

scoring 0/10

 
 

Percentage

Ave current condition score

out of 10

Percentage

Ave current condition score

out of 10

 
  Squats 50 6.3 6.5 3.9  
  Situps 16 7.0 6.5 4.6  
  Pressups 23.5 6.8 11 4.0  
  Hamstring stretch 11 6.9 25 4.8  
  Functional mobility 33 6.6 12 4.7  
  Squats, situps, pressups 10 7.5 2.4 3.7  
  Body composition 23 6.6 10 4.2  
  Strength training 13 6.5 55 5.3  
  Flexibility training 8.5 7.6 60 5.7  
  Strength and flex training 6 7.0 51 5.3  

 

 

When the spreadsheet was sorted first on total score, the 554 people (45%) scoring over 60 were placed in the low risk group. The 55% of people at risk were categorised according to their score.

 

  Risk Score range

People

Percent

(rounded)

 
  1. Low risk 60+ 554 45  
  2. Moderate risk 50-59 237 19  
  3. Risk 40-49 213 17  
  4. High risk 30-39 115 9  
  5. Very high risk 20-29 69 5  
  6. Grave risk less than 20 48 4  

 

We then added to the 'at risk' group, people who had scored less than 4/10 for the following parameters:

 

l

Current condition. If a person is already in poor musculo-skeletal health (and in pain) there's a risk that they could be waiting for an incident to happen, one that tips them over the edge into your workers compensation claims basket.
   

l

Body composition - code for being over weight. People 20Kg over weight are at risk.
   

l

Abdominal strength
   

l

Leg strength
   

l

Upper body and trunk strength
   

l

Hamstring flexibility
   

l

Functional mobility
   

l

Shoulder function

 

This reduced the percentage of low risk people to 30%.

 

 

Risk

Score range

out of 100

People

Percent

(rounded)

 
  1. Low risk 60+ 365 30  
  2. Moderate risk 50-59 57 5  
  3. Risk 40-49 582 47  
  4. High risk 30-39 115 9  
  5. Very high risk 20-29 69 5  
  6. Grave risk less than 20 48 4  

 

 

The 6% of people who scored 10/10 for the quality of their strength training program scored a total of 77/100.

 

The 56% of people who didn't have a strength training program scored 47/100.

 

The 8.5% of people who scored 10/10 for the quality of their flexibility training scored a total of 78 on the profile.

 

The 60% of people who scored 0/10 for the quality of their flexibility training program scored a total of 49.

 

1.

The 6% of people who scored 10/10 for the quality of their strength training program scored a total of 77/100.

 

 

2.

The 56% of people who didn't have a strength training program scored 47/100.

 

 

3.

The 8.5% of people who scored 10/10 for the quality of their flexibility training scored a total of 78 on the profile.

 

 

4.

The 60% of people who scored 0/10 for the quality of their flexibility training program scored a total of 49.

 

 

5.

The 15% of people who were more than 20Kg over weight had an average total score of 38

 

 

6.

The 52% people who were less than 10Kg over weight scored an average total score of  65

 

 

7.

The 6.5% of people who couldn’t do 1 squat had an average score of 27.

 

 

8.

The 23% of people who couldn’t do 1 situp had an average score of 38.

 

 

9.

The 11% of people who couldn’t do 1 pressup had an average score of 31.

 

The survey results mirror the results from a survey we undertook in 2007.

 

Comparative results from the 2007

Musculo-skeletal Risk Survey

 

1.

Only 5% of people had a reasonable strength and flexibility training program. Their average total score on the profile was 84.

 

 

2.

Only 10% had a reasonable flexibility training program, Their average total score on the profile was 75.

 

 

3.

Only 17% of people had a reasonable strength training program. Their average total score on the profile was 74.

 

 

4.

The average total score of the 58% of people who had no strength or flexibility training program at all was a miserable 46.

 

 

5.

Those who were 15 - 19kg over weight had an average total score of 40

 

 

6.

Those who were 20Kg or more over weight had an average score 36

 

 

7.

People who couldn’t do 1 situp had an average score of 38.

 

 

8.

People who couldn’t do 1 pressup had an average score of 32.

 

 Musculo-skeletal Risk Summary

 

Improving the musculo-skeletal health of your staff is a win-win-win process.

 

Your staff win, they feel better.

 

Your organisation wins because the risk of workers compensation claims is lowered and if you happen to receive an incident claim, you and your insurer have the risk information to reject claims that are not genuine work-related accidents.

 

(You have to protect yourself from law firms that are encouraging and actively supporting people (on a no win, no fee basis) who have set their mind on winning a large workers compensation payout. If you aren't focused, serious and attentive to the task of measuring and managing risk, you'll be taken to the cleaners by a professional group that, like a pack of roaring lions is stalking poorly prepared organisations. There are rich pickings in this business.)

 

Measuring and managing the risk of personally-generated musculo-skeletal dysfunctions entails:

 

1.

involving your staff in the musculo-skeletal health seminar that includes the 10 point musculo-skeletal health screen. This is a 'no ticket, no start' musculo-skeletal health risk program.

 

 

2.

using the results of the 10 point musculo-skeletal health screen to identify people with musculo-skeletal dysfunction and/or those who threaten your workers compensation arrangements.

 

 

3.

reviewing your organisation's musculo-skeletal risk screen spreadsheet to get a picture of what your risk profile looks like and identify people at risk.

 

 

4.

signing the high risk people up for the Clinical Assessment. It's essential that you have a Diagnostic Assessment report in your files, preferably with an X-ray attached.

 

 

5.

showing a duty of concern and care and enrolling your high risk staff members on a one week Pro-Active Rehab program. During the program participants are taught the exercises they need to do to get their bodies back into better alignment and strong enough to do every day tasks without breaking down.

 

The Pro-Active Rehab program involves clients spending 8 hours a day doing a range of strength and flexibility exercises, inner mental training, aerobic exercise, backed up with and an holistic health education program.

 

 

6.

enrolling all your staff in a daily strength and flexibility exercise program.

 

About us

Pro-Active Rehab is a division of Miller Health Pty Ltd

7 Salvado Place, Stirling (Canberra) ACT 2611 Australia

61 2 6288 7703

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