“An increasing number of musculoskeletal problems have developed as a result of the working-from-home requirements over the past couple of years. A lot of time and money and resources go into making sure people have the proper chairs to sit on, that they have ergonomic equipment, that they have education available: a lot of that changed during the pandemic and, at the same time, there was reduced access to other opportunities for care.”
Injuries while working at home mean a worker should qualify for benefit coverage, according to some recent court cases. As musculoskeletal experts, chiropractors can help, says Brereton.
“They are experts in the area of diagnoses, assessment and treatment of conditions that affect the muscles, bones, and then the spine and the related nervous system. The issue of disability related to musculoskeletal problems — which is now recognized as a global issue and a leading cause of disability worldwide — is something that chiropractors are specifically trained to address,” she says. “Chiropractors work very frequently on a daily basis with patients who are suffering from chronic pain and disability related to musculoskeletal injuries and there’s a variety of treatment options and supports the chiropractors.”
The main benefits of chiropractic treatment begin when the initial diagnosis is made but that doesn’t always happen, says Brereton, which is to the patient’s detriment.
“What we know about musculoskeletal issues, and disability related to it, is that frequently patients are misdiagnosed and they end up in emergency departments with no or poor diagnosis, and are often described painkillers to deal with it until they can get referred to somebody who can do a fulsome comprehensive assessment,” she says.