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On-the-Job Back Pain Isn't Going Away

Lifting boxes, pushing brooms, reaching for files, carrying supplies -- is it any wonder that so many people suffer from job-related low back pain? No matter what your occupation, back pain can make your life miserable at any time.

But how big is the problem?

To answer that question, researchers analyzed claim data from three major sources: the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries; the Bureau of Labor Statistics; and a national workers' compensation provider, over a period of 4-9 years. Results indicated that low-back pain claim rates decreased by 34% from 1987-1995, and claim payments declined by 58% over the same time period. But the problem isn't going away, either. Just look at these numbers:

  • $8.8 billion was spent on low-back pain workers' compensation claims in 1995.
  • Nearly two out of every 100 privately insured workers filed a low-back pain claim in 1995.
  • Payments for these claims accounted for almost a fourth (23%) of the total workers' compensation payments in 1995.

So if you think you can avoid low back pain at the workplace, just look at these numbers, and think again. Better yet, help continue the decline in low back pain cases by getting regular adjustments from your doctor of chiropractic.


Murphy P, Volinn E. Is occupational low back pain on the rise? Spine, April 1, 1999: Vol. 24, No. 7, pp691-697.