Case Study - Mother of two

Last reviewed on 02/11/2012 17:30

A mother of two from the Scottish Borders was able to avoid a long absence from work thanks to support she received from the Working Health Services Borders project.

The 41-year-old had seen her GP several times for back and leg pain. She was diagnosed with sciatic a condition which causes pain in the back and down into the leg. She had already taken time off work for ill-health and when her symptoms started to worsen, she had to reduce her hours at work. Things came to a head when she found herself lying on the floor unable to move because of the pain in her back.

She explained: “I was already on painkillers and a waiting list for a non-urgent appointment with a physiotherapist but when my back went completely, I was in a lot of pain.”

“When I saw my GP again, she asked if I worked at a small or medium-sized company and suggested calling Working Health Services Borders.”

“From the first telephone call, the service exceeded my expectations. The staff were extremely helpful and understanding and even managed to get me an appointment with a physio for the following day.”

“It was the holistic nature of the service that particularly impressed me. As well as my regular sessions with the physio, I was given a TENS machine and also had acupuncture, all of which helped me recover and return to work after a relatively short absence.”

“That wasn’t the end of the support though – with my consent and my employer’s approval, an occupational therapist came out to my workplace to make some suggestions about changing my work station to help prevent any future problems with my back.”

“She was very discreet and there was no awkwardness or suggestion that my employer would have to make expensive changes. It was just a matter of changing the position of a few things.”

“I’ve also taken part in back care classes at the hospital once a week to build up my core strength and I’ve spoken to one of the project’s psychological therapists about reducing stress.”

“The whole approach has been very holistic and I believe this not only helped me avoid a prolonged absence from work but will also mean I’m less likely to have recurrent problems.”