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Lower back injuries: common and debilitating

Chronic pain not only affects an individual's physical health but can also have psychological effects. Experiencing pain day in and out is tiring and may prevent an individual from being able to participate in activities he or she previously enjoyed as well as work. Two new studies that examined the prevalence of lower back injuries amongst people around the world and amongst workers in various industries were recently published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

According to one of the studies, almost 10 percent of people worldwide suffer from lower back pain. For some, the source of their persistent pain is unclear. In other cases, however, lower back pain is traced back to injuries suffered while performing work duties.

In response to the recent studies, one U.S. doctor commented that "back pain is the number one cause of lost work days". Injuries and strains to the lower back are also the number one reason that workers file for disability. While lower back injuries can impact workers of all ages and in all industries, the study indicates older male workers who are employed in certain industries, including agriculture and fishing, which require strenuous physical labor, are most at risk.

There is no quick remedy for a lower back injury and these types of injures are typically chronic in nature and easily aggravated. Experts contend that the best way to prevent a lower back injury is to stay active and in shape. Workers who have suffered a lower back injury may have difficulty standing or walking and may not be able to work. Georgia residents who are in this situation may qualify to receive social security disability benefits for their injuries.

Source: KMSP-TV, "JOB DISABILITY: Study finds lower back pain is No. 1 cause," Serena Gordon, March 27, 2014  

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