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Phased Return to Work - advice needed pls

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by LawCitizenshipPHSE, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. LawCitizenshipPHSE

    LawCitizenshipPHSE New commenter

    I completely agree with you. Although no.6 is hard... impossible to enjoy extra time off when you're in pain :( But on the plus side no early mornings for a while :)
     
    ATfan and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  2. LawCitizenshipPHSE

    LawCitizenshipPHSE New commenter

    I'm sorry to hear that, hope you weren't unwell for long. It's so depressing at times but no work stress is a bonus
     
    ATfan and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  3. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Lol! I know what you mean by point 6 as my suggestions are from my own experience. I have a stretched nerve in my lower back and slight scoliosis so have had chronic neuropathic pain with acute episodes for nearly 17 years. Only in the last 3 years have I found out what the exact injury was and how best to work with it. The experience has taught me to understand and set limits. Not easy for me to do as I don’t like conflict. If I don’t though, I will pay the price (as would my students if I couldn’t do what I need to do to support them). The recent hassle comes from the fact that my 2 OH reports were not accurate until I recently wrote to OH and got the 2nd one corrected. Not easy to do at all. This is why I advised you as I did.

    Get well soon!
     
  4. LawCitizenshipPHSE

    LawCitizenshipPHSE New commenter

    ATfan likes this.
  5. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

  6. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Normal default for teacher absence is often that sixth form lessons are not covered - that can make perfect sense for short-term absence, as it is likely that they will be set some independent study as cover work and they shouldn't need a teacher to supervise this. However I would assume that as soon as someone is signed off for a longer period, any responsible school will put something into place - hopefully specialist supply, maybe calling on a retired teacher (I know a retired teacher who was re-employed to cover some exam classes left stranded due to illness).

    It sounds as if there's no way you should be in at the moment. When you can cope with much longer periods of sitting/standing, then hopefully a phased return can be arranged; if they can't arrange something that is truly manageable, your GP should sign you off further.
     
  7. LawCitizenshipPHSE

    LawCitizenshipPHSE New commenter


    Thanks. I know I need to stop worrying about my students they are not my main priority or responsibility at present
     
    ATfan likes this.
  8. LawCitizenshipPHSE

    LawCitizenshipPHSE New commenter

    To those who persuaded me not to return to work last week without seeing my GP first, thank you. I'm so glad I didn't go back.

    My back has been soooo bad today I'm trying not to cry. Painkillers aren't helping. I even layed on the floor for an hour as I read that flat surface is good for back pain. Not sure what else to try aside from heat patches which I use often
     
    ATfan likes this.
  9. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Depends what's caused the back pain, but I would see f you can get an appointment to see a physio or someone who can help you learn how to improve posture / movement etc. It's surprising how we can easily develop bad habits which make back problems even worse with injury.
     
    ATfan likes this.
  10. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Hi! Sorry to hear about your back. Mine was painful today as well (red hot knife in ribs). You mentioned that painkillers don't work and that you laid on the floor. Which painkillers? How often and how did you lay on the floor? Sorry if I sound like an inquisitor. I ask because these are things that I do but certain positions and methods of taking painkillers work better for me than others. I therefore wonder if I can help from my own experience.

    Disclaimer: I am not medically trained, would not advise you to do anything potentially harmful and echo Lara's advice to speak to your GP about this as well.
     
  11. LawCitizenshipPHSE

    LawCitizenshipPHSE New commenter

    Currently taking Codeine. 1-2 every few hours/as and when needed.

    I layed flat on my back with a cusion under head for 2 hours
     
  12. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I am certainly no medic, but having had a friend with back trouble (nursing-induced), yes lying on the floor / flat is good, but she had support under the knees as it was lower back for instance.
     
    LawCitizenshipPHSE likes this.
  13. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Hi @LawAndBusinessTeacher I second Lara's advice. I have been given 2 'safe'/'neutral' positions to use during flare ups. The first one is called semi supine (it's like the bridge posture in yoga-on my back with a yoga block/textbook/cushion under the bumpy bit on the back of my head (not the shoulder) with my legs hip width apart, arms by your sides palms face up or with hands placed on the hips (elbows out), knees bent and feet on the floor-stay in that position for 5-20 mins if you can, ideally or until the pain calms down a bit (that takes me 40 mins these days). The second one is called the weightless pose. Again, lie on your back with the bumpy part of your head (not the shoulders) on top of a yoga block/textbook/cushion but this time you put your feet on the bed/sofa/a chair. Again, stay in that position for as long as needed. Both positions are good because you are raising the pelvis (and legs in the case of the weightless pose. Hence, the name) which means that you are demanding less from your back. While laying in this position, my AT teacher has also taught me that it's important to stay as calm and 'loose' as possible (as this creates anxiety and tension which can make the pain worse) and to breathe in and out slowly and deeply while resting in these positions. I usually count in for 7 (as if I am smelling a rose) and then out for 11 (as if I am blowing a bubble). One other thing I would say is that I've found that the key difference to me is concentrating on keeping loose, working out which parts of me are more painful/less painful for me to breathe/move from and working with the pain rather than fighting it or being frightened of it. I know that I probably sound weird and it took me a long time to do this but it's when I started to that I found that I was able to do something with the pain (my AT teacher calls this directing). Of course, it's even better when she's helping me as well through very gentle massage and instructions! :) Another thing that she taught me to do which also sometimes helps (at other times, the pain feels worse when I do this), is to gently wiggle my toes on each foot or wiggle my hands. Apparently, this works because I'm interrupting the pain signals. When I'm in spasm, I sometimes find that laying down in semi supine but with my legs straight out together and next to each other and rotating them from side to side can also help. I usually go semi supine or weightless fails though as they are the best neutral positions to use. If all else fails, I do nothing and wait to see what the pain will do. I usually find that I automatically start to use the Alexander Technique again (the breathing and working with the pain), then I shake and then the flare up calms down.

    Anyway, some tips from my AT Teacher and Physiotherapist that might help you too. :) I also do McKenzie back exercises twice day as recommended by my orthopaedic surgeon.

    In terms of pain killers, I don't know if your pain is musculoskeltal or neuropathic. As mine is neuropathic, I start with 400mg Ibuprofen (apparently, I can also take 1g of paracetamol at the same time as a loading dose if I want). 4 hours later, I take 1g of paracetamol again then 4 hours later Ibuprofen, or if like last night, I need to sleep but the pain is too much, I then get out what I call the big guns-1 coco damol tablet (8/500mg). I hate things which make me drowsy, so I only take one. I also try to avoid taking painkillers unless I really need to as they are no good to me for long term use (sadly).

    Disclaimer-I was told the above by Qualified Nurses but please check if you decide to follow the above medication advice as I am not medically qualified. I was advised to do this because I used to wait for 6/8 hours before taking anything but you can imagine what happened by that time. The Nurses told me that this way, the pain does not 'spike' as suddenly. I should have followed their advice after my dental surgery 2 years ago! Silly me! I'm ok that way now though. :)

    Hope the above helps and that you're feeling better today. :)
     
    LawCitizenshipPHSE likes this.
  14. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Here are some photos of these poses if you are interested:

    [​IMG]
    Semi supine

    [​IMG]
    The closest photo that I can find to the weightless pose. I know that my AT teacher would say that the cushion should be further up the head, so that it is placed like the one in the top photo, while the arms should be placed like those in the top photo also as this is less demanding of the back during flare ups (at least it is for me).

    Apparently, everyone should rest in semi supine for a minimum of 5 minutes a day (20 is optimum) whether they have back pain or not, according to my AT Teacher! :)
     
  15. LawCitizenshipPHSE

    LawCitizenshipPHSE New commenter

    Thanks for the above. I have been doing the semi supine and mkenzie exercise as advised by my physiotherapist. Haven't tried the weightless position. I will ask my physiotherapist when I see her next.
     
    ATfan likes this.
  16. LawCitizenshipPHSE

    LawCitizenshipPHSE New commenter

    ATfan likes this.
  17. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    That doesn't help me much as I don't 'remember' who you were before the update. Seems quite a few people have had problems with their old accounts recently and ended up having to have an updated name change. :(
     
    ATfan likes this.
  18. LawCitizenshipPHSE

    LawCitizenshipPHSE New commenter

    The original poster... who asked for the advice re phased return etc
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  19. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Agreed :) I have the same prob, btw. No-one recognised me either. :)
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  20. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Glad that your physio agreed with mine and my AT teacher. Hopefully, your physio will agree with mine about the weightless pose as well as it's a less demanding version of the semi supine pose :) How have you been? My back has been awful since Thursday. Luckily, the big guns worked yesterday, so am feeling much better today. :) Hope that the exercises are helping you! :)
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.

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