Can FIFO workers get chiropractic care, as they are not able to attend all appointments?
The short answer is Yes.
In Western Australia we have a significant portion of our working population in remote location work sites both on land and at sea. Most commonly these are mine site and drilling rigs.
As a result we have a large number of workers travelling to and from these sites and the work places have adapted to this by setting up workplace onsite accommodation and rostering people on for extended periods. The duration of these rosters varies between work sites and may result in workers being away from home for a week, or even several months, at a time.
This is referred to locally as the Fly In, Fly Out work force (FIFO).
The FIFO work schedule can create problems for people requiring chiropractic care on a scheduled programme.
Often initial care programmes require regular attendance at the chiropractic clinic, and when the patient is only in town one week in four (as a commonly encountered example) the treatment for a spinal related condition may need to be maximised during this short period of home time. This is not an ideal situation, however with patient co-operation following advice – it is often possible for a patient to continue working FIFO while undergoing chiropractic care. Anticipated response to care will likely be different than for the patient who can attend for treatment on the recommended schedule. That is it may be drawn out significantly.
It is often more effective to provide effective care on relatively minor problems that are more tolerant of FIFO work rosters. It is more difficult to help provide effective care with severe problems. It is our advise to get relatively minor problems assessed while they are easier to care for.
That is, the mild stiff achy back or neck when you awake some mornings, may be a warning sign of abnormal spinal alignment or function that is gradually deteriorating.
The solution may be simple, but you will not know until it is assessed.