A recent research has showed that chronic back pain affects nearly 40 million of American workers. This makes up about one-fourth of the total workforce. Researchers are of the opinion that the actual number of people suffering from lower back pain may be more than what has been captured by this study.
Dr. Sara Luckhaupt, medical officer at US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health said that most of these cases of back pain are work related however most of the workers have not discussed it with their doctors to make sure it might be work related or not. She also said that people miss their work because of this and there have been even cases where people changed their jobs because of this difficulty.
She said that back pain was not confined to just one gender and both men and women were equally affected. Most of the affected people were in the age group between 45 to 64 years of age. She also said that obesity is one main reason which can contribute to lower back pain. People working in fields like construction, grounds cleaning and building maintenance, which demanded huge manual labor, were the most affected ones. She also said that apart from this lower back pain was also reported in people involved in activities like pulling, standing or lifting. Dr. Qusai Hammouri who works as an orthopedic surgeon at the Staten Island University Hospital in New York said that it was often difficult to find out if a person’s back pain was actually work related one or not. He said that in most cases it was difficult to understand if they got the back pain because of their work or if it was that they already had a back pain which worsened as they worked more.
Painkillers and physical therapy are some of the many ways to treat back pain. Luckhaupt said that most important thing to do is that the workers suffering from back pain should discuss with their employees to find out ways that can make their work environment healthier.