Is Your Job Hurting Your Back?

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Is Your Job Hurting Your Back?

Low back pain, more commonly associated with jobs involving physical labor, is now striking an increasing number of white-collar workers. Usually associated with heavy lifting, turning, bending and repetitive motions, back pain is becoming a plague among those who lift nothing heavier than a stapler.

While workplace design and employee fitness are factors in office workers developing neck and back injuries, an overlooked element is the psychosocial factor — how positive a person’s mental outlook is, and especially how much they like their career.

Instead of taking drugs to reduce the symptoms, more and more recommendations involve reducing the amount of stress and taking steps to increase your overall job satisfaction.  Most healthcare professionals can develop a successful approach for back pain treatment based on a thorough medical history and physical examination. Only specific symptom patterns in a minority of cases indicate the need for MRI scans or other sophisticated tests. Typically, MRI scans are used when patients are not responding to appropriate treatment and for surgical planning.

Experts say that up to 80 percent of adults will seek treatment for work-related back pain at some point in their career.  There are some types of back pain that respond better to manual treatments (such as chiropractic manipulation or physical therapy) or to medical treatments (such as injections or medications).  It is quite common for a back pain patient to first consult with one type of physician and get referred to another.  It is also common for a patient to find that trial and error is needed to figure out what treatment works best for his or her situation, or that a combination of treatments is the best approach.  Because of the complexity of back pain and the variety of health professionals who treat it, the trend toward integrated spine care has accelerated. More physicians and other health professionals are getting together to create integrated treatments with the goal of working with each other to more effectively diagnose and treat patients with back pain.  Chiropractors, physiotherapists and massage therapists have helped many people with back problems, often saving them from pain, disability, drugs, and surgery. If you know anyone suffering from back pain, refer them to our office for a consultation on how we can help.