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Low back problems affect many people

About 80 of all people suffer from low back pain at some point. The ailment ranks as the top reason people miss work. It's the second highest reason people see a doctor, coming in only behind having a cold or the flu. Back injuries are also among common work-related injuries. A survey conducted for the American Physical Therapy Association in 2011 found that low back pain interferes with people's daily lives. About 69 percent said it had reduced the quality of their lives, 38 percent said it interfered with their exercise regime, 37 percent said it disrupted their sleep and 24 percent said it affected their ability to work.

The National Institutes of Health found that people spend around $50 billion a year on various treatments for their low back pain. Although some people resort to surgery, most often they take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. In addition, they try massage, physical therapy and chiropractic treatments to alleviate the problem.

In the workplace, people might expect that back injuries could occur in jobs that require lifting heavy objects. However, having to bend over frequently, working from a bent-over position or sitting for long periods of time, as receptionists or truck drivers do, also cause problems. Nevertheless, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupations with the highest rate of back injuries are among truck drivers, operators of heavy equipment and construction workers.

Despite precautions, back injuries happen at work. A lawyer could help an injured worker secure the maximum workman's compensation benefits that they might be entitled to. A lawyer could help ensure an injured worker's employer and the worker's compensation insurance company provided care from skilled medical professionals to alleviate pain and restore the worker to a pre-injury condition, if possible.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "My Aching Back: Low back problems are common neurological disorder", Jack Kelly, September 02, 2013

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