Medical advice on staying active can have a positive affect on workers who are on medical leave due to lower back pain, a new study finds.
In fact, recovery from nonspecific lower back pain can be delayed if people avoid activity, according to researchers Dr. Marc Du Bois and Peter Donceel, at KU Leuven, a university in Belgium.
Their study, published in Spine, involved more than 500 workers — mostly blue-collar — on sick leave because of low back pain. Workers who had symptoms of a serious back problem were not included.
Half of the workers were told their pain would likely resolve over time and that they should remain active and continue with their normal daily routine. The remaining participants did not receive this information and advice and were only given a standard disability evaluation.
Workers who were educated about back pain and reassured that they would get better were more likely to return to work. After one year, the study showed, only 4 percent of these workers had not done so. In comparison, 8 percent of those who did not receive the counseling on back pain remained on leave.
The researchers found that the 38 percent of those ( continue reading … )