Lower back pain a prominent cause of work disability

Apr 09 2014

Many workers have felt it: that twinge in the lower back, one that lets you know that you’re in for a world of hurt over the next few days. That lower back pain can be absolutely brutal, let alone debilitating. But one thing that you may not know about lower back pain is that it isn’t just a common problem that afflicts people every once in a while. Actually, back pain is the top cause for work disability in the world.

According to National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, roughly $50 billion is spent every year by Americans to help with their back pain. Another study found that roughly 1 in 10 people around the world suffer from lower back pain, and that despite the $50 billion we shell out every year, Western Europe has the most prominent amount of lower back pain sufferers.

This means a lot to the workers’ compensation world. Since lower back pain is so common, it is easy to dismiss its severity. But the fact is, many people who suffer from lower back pain are unable to work. The pain is so severe that they physically are unable to work. When it reaches this level, the worker needs compensation to help him or her get by.

When you consider the number of people in Colorado — and all across the world — who work in physically-demanding jobs, this news is very important. In addition, given our aging population, the prevalence of lower back pain will likely only increase. This is a crucial workers’ compensation issue that will see a lot of play in the coming years.

Source: TIME, “This Is the No. 1 Cause of Disability Worldwide,” Alexandra Sifferlin, March 25, 2014