Risk Factors Leading to Recurrent Back PainIf you are an industrial worker and hurt your back while on the job, there's a one in four chance of reinjury. The rate of recurrent work-related low back injuries and risk factors are the subject of this study. Recognizing risk factors may help reduce or prevent future episodes of low back pain (LBP).
After studying 352 hourly union workers, researchers report the following risk factors that can trigger a recurrence:
This study was unique in that all patients worked at auto plants. There was excellent health care available at the plant. In other studies, workers didn't always have access to care. And poor follow-up didn't catch all cases of recurrent LBP. In this study, a company-wide computer system kept track of all health information for each patient.
The authors summarize by saying that physically fit workers have less chance of developing chronic LBP. Regular exercise during off hours may protect workers from recurrent episodes of back pain. New job tasks may require training to reduce risk of reinjury. The worker is advised to review the training manual when returning to work after time off with LBP.
Denise Oleske, PhD, et al. Risk Factors for Recurrent Episodes of Work-Related Low Back Pain Disorders in an Industrial Population. In Spine. April 1, 2006. Vol. 31. No. 7. Pp. 789-798.
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