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Home | Blog | Lower back pain and employment

The Sydney Morning Herald published an article on 21 March 2018 titled “Thousands of back pain sufferers given ‘harmful treatments’”.

Common causes

Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide with 50% of Australians experiencing back pain in the last month.

Back pain does not discriminate against any occupations and some common causes of back injuries as we see in the course of employment include the following:

  1. Bending over and lifting heavy items.
  2. Prolonged sitting whether it be at a desk or as a truck driver can cause significant strain on the lumbar spine.
  3. Obesity as a result of a sedentary lifestyle, particularly sitting at a desk all day.
  4. Pushing or pulling heavy items.
  5. Twisting awkwardly.

There are a variety of treatments for back pain which include but are not limited to rest, analgesia, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, pilates, yoga, spinal surgery, injections and even artificial battery powered nerve stimulators.

This article of course does not aim to provide medical advice however the article itself argues that a lot of treatments may be unnecessary and it may be simple lifestyle options that can improve outcomes for back pain.

Recovery

If a back injury is sustained at work a workers compensation claim should certainly be made and the treatment should of course be determined by the medical practitioner. Even if a conservative approach is to be taken, time off work may be required to achieve these outcomes of improving back pain and disability and a workers compensation claim form can still be lodged and the workers relevant workers compensation insurer should still attend to payment of the injured workers weekly payments up to 95% of their pre-injury average weekly earnings pursuant to Section 36 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987. 

An injury can also occur over a period of time as a result of the nature and conditions of a certain type of employment such as process work where there may not be a particular incident that caused an injury, however the repetitive nature of it has caused the injury and disability.

Talk to us

If you have pain in your lower back, you should of course talk to your medical practitioner, if you suspect that your injury is caused or substantially contributed to by your employment, then you should contact a lawyer.

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