How Much Does Injury Cost You?

How Much Does Injury Cost You?

This may be a funny title to a blog but when I had my snowboarding accident last year it got me thinking about how much does injury cost you?

Being self employed and a business owner my income relies on me being at work. I thought I’d write a quick blog on the cost of injuries.

There are largely two main reasons for time off work due to injury. Those related or caused by work and those non related such as sports injuries or accidents outside work. 

Please check out the HSE statistics below…

Is Anyone Shocked By That Number?

Can you imagine how many lives are impacted? How the economy is impacted? The amount of children having ‘small’ birthdays?

When looking at figures its hard to see the people behind those number. 

In my case my injury was non work related. The mechanism wasn’t clear as I didn’t have immediate pain.

We had taken 7 days in half term to travel out to Morzine in France. It had been a beautiful day and whilst snowboarding with friends we had spotted some fresh powder snow underneath the chair lifts. We couldn’t resist.

As we peaked over the last descent we mis judged the best route and I ended up having a very nasty fall. One that I was lucky to walk away from without serious fracture or tissue injury.

The following day I woke with no pain and only a few bruises to show the events of yesterday. I had breakfast and went upstairs to pop my thermals on searing pain locked me into a flexed position. It would take me a further 45 minutes to be able to get onto a bed less than a metre away. 

Just to give you an idea of the severity of my back pain please read the blog here.

It could have been caused by:  

  • The fall off piste I had the previous day 
  • The cold snow that got stuck in my salopettes and the wet clothes on my back for several hours after.
  • The overload of snowboarding for 3 days straight with repetitive load and inadequate snowboarding fitness.


Non/combination of the above.

This occurred on the 3rd or 4th day of my trip.


The Cost Of My Trip

So lets analyse the cost of this injury to me.

I had already paid for the flight and ski passes and accommodation. Lets say this worked out about £100/day.

Luckily I am a physio and knew exactly what to do but let me give you the scenario of what I see when people experience the same muscle spam in their back.

It was 2 weeks until I could work properly and that was with very aggressive physio. Most of my clients who have this sort of pain without seeing a physio usually seek my help about 6 weeks after. Sometimes people leave injuries even longer than that. 

Many feel uncertain if physio is for them or whether it may make the pain worse. Having felt such severe pain I can understand why people have this concern. 

If someone is off work for 6 weeks, particularly in a self employed role that is going to have a massive impact on their pay. 

In the best case scenario a week off work, or working below maximum capacity can lose you business, money and can make you feel down and worrying about finances.


What would it cost you to be off work for one month?

What would it cost you to be off work for one month? Financially, socially and  physically?

One fifth of workers with back pain take absence of over 6 months and 32% will not have returned to work at one month.

Wynne-Jones et al (2013)

Many people leave injuries so long that they will spend 6 months unable to enjoy the things they love. 

Now this is ironic. 

We might spend:

  • £500 a year for a golf membership, 
  • £700 for a yearly wakeboard park membership
  • £300-600 a year for tennis membership 
  • £1000 for gym membership 
  • £3600 to keep a horse
  • £3000 you just spend on that gorgeous new road bike you now can’t use or the £1000 Cabrinha kite sat in your garage thats only seen one day out on the water? 

Wasted money.

Now this is just the financial cost of not being able to do what you love. What about the emotional cost? 

What about the arguments you have with your spouse because you’re constantly in pain? The low mood because you’re not getting your regular Serotin boost from running 10 k or the effect on your health and increased risk of nasty health conditions because you are gaining weight and inactive?


But some people will still sometimes resist paying £45 to make the step to get back to the things that they love. The average person will have 4-6 sessions with us which would cost £165 – £245.


How Much Could It Have Cost Me Without Physio?

In my case being off for one month would have cost me 

  • £2000 in lost earnings
  • £400 in horse care costs: unable to do my hobby.
  • £40 gym membership
  • Lost new business as unable to take on new clients 
  • Damage relationships with insurance companies as unable as unable to service their clients
  • Low mood
  • Fear and uncertainty of return to work
  • Pain
  • Lost holiday £300

When you weigh that up against the price of physio it seems strange that we don’t invest in treatment sooner. Particularly as early intervention usually saves you money as there is less compensation ( i.e. muscles that have become painful because you have been walking awkwardly) to sort out.


What are you thoughts on this? Have you lost money by being off sick or have you tried to work with pain?


Speak soon.



The Physio Crew

Click here to read how much the average physio episode costs. 

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