More disability claims are for back pain than any other cause

Even if a workplace injury does not develop as a result of a specific accident, but rather over time due to a nagging, worsening condition, that doesn't mean it's any less serious. People with issues such as lower back pain that build up over time can be kept out of work for extended periods of time, just as someone injured in an accident can miss lots of time away from work.

As it turns out, lower back pain is the top reason around the world why people are disabled and unable to work. A study that was published in a journal called the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases found that about 10 percent of people around the world suffer from lower back pain, and this has led to more time missed at work than any other cause.

While issues such as lower back pain or carpal tunnel syndrome are serious occupational diseases that can affect a person's ability to work, they are not the only ones. Medical problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder or heart disease might be attributed to a person's work environment in some cases. Depression or other mental illness can also develop as a result of slow recovery from an on-the-job illness.

Lower back pain might seem like a relatively straightforward condition to have. However, improper treatment could lead to more significant issues, such as addiction to painkillers. In general, it is best to report and have a workplace injury or illness treated before a relatively minor issue turns into something worse.

Source: Time, "This Is The No. 1 Cause of Disability Worldwide," Alexandra Sifferlin, March 25, 2014

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