Physiotherapy Support & MSK Health

Physiotherapy Support

If you are currently experiencing musculoskeletal pain or discomfort, you can be supported to receive specialist support and advice via Optima Health, the Trust’s Occupational Health provider. To be referred to the physiotherapist specialist at Optima Health, please contact your line manager or HR Representative who can action this for you. You can access this service if you are at work or currently absent from work.

Optima Health - Health & Wellbeing portal

Here, you can browse a library of physical and mental health resources authored by industry-leading clinicians. Be empowered to lead a healthier lifestyle through downloadable podcasts, videos and articles, and learn more about your own health through various useful self-assessments.  Click on the picture above for resources and much more.


More information about the process and what options may be explored are detailed in this attachment which you can download here:

Musculoskeletal Health

We know that ambulance staff are at an increased risk of musculoskeletal issues due to the physical natures of the work that they undertake. It is therefore important that staff are supported to keep themselves physically healthy and active. Optima Health, Occupational Health Provider, have shared their expert advice and guidance for staff regarding back care awareness and tips for preventing injury when exercising in these helpful guides.


There are also many staff who do not undertake manual handling as a main part of their job but may be required to undertake manual handling tasks on an occasional basis, the attached poster provides helpful techniques and best practice guidance for manual handling in a non-operational capacity. You can download this poster here.


The below links are videos with exercises you might find helpful in managing your back pain and how to avoid other MSK injuries:

Use of arm to mobilise upper back

Sitting advice with an office chair

Working from home workstation arrangement

Preventing tennis elbow

Postural stretches in sitting

Exercises to maintain a healthy neck

How to adapt your seating at home

Maintaining a healthy neural guide in the upper limb

Working from a dining chair

Seating – use of an office chair

A standing desk

How can we look after our backs a little better?

Sit Up. Keep your lower back supported when sitting and your feet flat on the floor. When you’re relaxing on the sofa in the evening don’t curl your legs underneath you, as it will twist your spine.

Sleep Comfortably. Sleeping on your back is best for your spine. If you really want to sleep on your side, then put a pillow between your knees and try not to twist into the recovery position. Never sleep on your front because it twists your neck and lower back.

Keep Moving. Keeping fit and active is a must! A 20 minute walk is much better for your back than a 20 minute sit down. Try to get into the habit of taking a brisk walk once or twice a day if you can.

Listen to your body. Pain is a warning sign. If something is hurting you, don’t just carry on. Get someone to lend you a hand instead of pushing your body too far.
Get plenty of exercise, eat healthily and plenty of sleep. Depression and fatigue (which can be a real risk this time of year) are linked with episodes of low back pain.

The downloadable pages below offer some suggestions on ways of looking after your back:

Top Ten Back Care Tips

This document offers some tips on how to look after your back.