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Lower back pain considered No.1 cause of job disability

Do you have a job that requires you to constantly lift heavy items? Are you constantly on your feet all day, standing on hard surfaces? Have you ever experienced a twinge of pain in your lower back that never seems to go away? If you said yes to any of these questions, especially the last one, then you’re like many Americans across the nation that are experiencing the No. 1 cause of job disability: lower back pain.

After combining studies from around the world, a study published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases determined that one in 10 people suffer from lower back pain. As you may know, back injuries can be suffered at work as easily as they can outside of your place of employment. But with one key difference: a work-related injury may qualify you for workers’ compensation benefits.

Many would consider this good news, especially considering the fact that American’s spend approximately $50 billion every year on lower back pain. This money is not just including what is spent of painkillers either. Severe back pain could point to a serious problem that might only be corrected with surgery. And as many of our San Diego readers know, medical bills from surgeries can put an incredible strain on finances, especially when that person is unable to work because of their injury.

As you can already imagine, lower back pain caused by a back injury can be quite debilitating and can have a significant impact on a person’s life. It’s because of this burden, explains the study, that the health services, as well as the government, should pay more attention to the issue. Sometimes it may be as simple as sending an OSHA investigator to a business to determine any safety issues or updating regulations to ensure the safety of workers across the nation, including here in California. In the end, it could stop one less person from experiencing lower back pain the world over.

Source: TIME, “This Is the No. 1 Cause of Disability Worldwide,” Alexandra Sifferlin, March 25, 2014

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