Some Jobs Are a Pain in the Back

Some Jobs Are a Pain in the Back

Some Jobs Are a Pain in the Back

A big culprit: manual labor that involves awkward positions, study says

SOURCE: Arthritis Care & Research, news release, Feb. 9, 2015

MONDAY, Feb. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Working in an awkward position significantly increases the risk of developing low back pain, a new study finds.

Doing manual labor that involved awkward positions increased the risk of low back pain by eight times. Other significant risk factors included fatigue and being distracted during an activity. The risk of back pain was highest between 7 a.m. and noon, the Australian researchers found.

The findings were reported in the new issue of the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

"Our study is the first to examine brief exposure to a range of modifiable triggers for an acute episode of low back pain," Manuela Ferreira, an associate professor at the George Institute for Global Health and Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney in Australia, said in a journal news release.

Nearly 10 percent of people worldwide suffer back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is the leading cause of disability and has a greater impact on global health than malaria, diabetes or lung cancer, according to the World Health Organization.

The new study included nearly 1,000 people in Australia with acute low back pain who provided information about what they were doing in the 96 hours before the start of their back pain.

"Understanding which risk factors contribute to back pain and controlling exposure to these risks is an important first step in prevention," Ferreira said.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about low back pain.

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