An estimated 150 million workdays are lost each year because of back pain, accounting for billions of dollars each year in lost wages and workers' compensation claims. Of course, the issue of back pain goes far beyond dollars and cents it's about the frustration, discomfort and disability millions of endure for months and sometimes years.
What specifically determines time loss from work following a back injury? To answer that question, the authors of a study in Spine evaluated the incidence of back injury and resultant work loss in a group of nurses employed at a large teaching hospital in Canada. Over a two-year period, 320 nurses suffered 416 documented back injuries, with the results of 218 interviews presented as follows:
- Perceived disability (i.e., thinking you were injured) contributed to time loss following the injury;
- Self-reported pain was strongly related to the length of time lost; and
- Type of injury, specifically back injury caused by lifting patients, resulted in greater time loss.
This study serves as yet another example of the magnitude of the back pain problem and the effects it can have on our physical, psychological and economic well-being. It¹s a reminder that prevention is the best way to avoid a back injury, and that a proven, successful way to prevent back pain (or relieve back pain after injury) is with regular adjustments from a doctor of chiropractic.
Tate RB, Yassi A, Cooper J. Predictors of time loss after back injury in nurses. Spine, Sept. 15, 1999: Vol. 24, No. 18, pp1930-36.