Monday, February 16, 2009

How to Prevent Long-Term Disability From Back Injuries

A recent study from researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle found several risks for long-term (over one year) back injury disability that may help target workers and lower the percentage of back injuries that turn into long-term disability. The study was published in the journal Spine, and found that certain job characteristics, initial disability rating, type of doctor seen initially, psychological factors, and of course, the severity of the injury, were all factors that contributed to a worker’s level and degree of disability.

The researchers interviewed over 1,800 people who had previously sustained a back injury that prevented them from working for at least three weeks. While the level of injury sustained, previous injuries, and those with certain injury characteristics were major factors for whether a worker would be out for at least a year, they also found other important factors. If a patient saw a chiropractor their chance for long-term disability was decreased. Those who saw specialists as their first doctor had a reduced risk as well, as did patients who were offered light duty tasks from their employers while they were recuperating.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

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