Lower back pain can be mildly annoying, or it can worsen to severely debilitating if you don’t do anything about it. According to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 17 % of low back pain cases turn into work disability cases, lasting one to six months, while 7% turn into cases, lasting six months or longer. With these statistics, it’s not surprising for the Department of Labor to cite lower back pain as the leading cause of occupational disability.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You can lower your risk for lower back pain (and occupational disability) by making these lifestyle changes:
- Lose weight – Extra pounds around the waist pull the pelvis forward, resulting in additional stress on the lower back. To alleviate existing back pain or to prevent future cases, eat a healthy diet and perform regular exercise. You’ll not only lose pounds, you’ll also strengthen your core, which strengthens your lower back.
- Ditch smoking – According to a study published in Human Brain Mapping, smokers are three times as likely to get lower back pain compared to non-smokers. But quitting is not easy, so ask a healthcare professional for suggestions on how you can stop smoking.
- Reduce stress – This is easier said than done, given how everyday life can be full of stress. Deadlines, expenses, emergencies, and commitments can put a strain on your mental well-being which can manifest physically, sometimes into lower back pain and other ailments. You can’t remove stress completely but you can lessen it by learning different techniques like meditation.
- Seek help – Don’t procrastinate when it comes to your health. Many cases of back pain are treatable, or manageable, if addressed in the early stages. There’s no quick and easy fix for back pain, but if your case is still mild, you’ll have time to look for doctors who you’re comfortable with. Your relationship with your doctor affects your healing process more than you realize, so choose those you can trust.
These are all preventive measures. But what if you're already suffering from lower back pain bad enough to warrant a claim for occupational disability? Then beyond arming yourself with good medical care, you also need good legal advice to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez at 702 to know what steps you need to take. Our accident injury lawyers will be happy to assist you.