Monday, February 11, 2008

Work Restriction and Back Pain, No Help.

Many doctors advise their patients to restrict work activities in an attempt to get them back to full working capacity faster. However, this practice may not be effective, say researchers.

A new analysis pooled data on employees at a utility company who had back pain-related absence. When researchers compared the 43% of subjects who were given work restrictions with those who were not, they found no statistically significant evidence that work restrictions effect duration of absence or likelihood of relapse.

“No evidence of an association between a prescription of work restriction and early return to work was found,” conclude the study’s authors. “More research is needed to clarify the utility of restricted duty in promoting a positive outcome for work-related low-back pain.”

Spine – April 4, 2003;28:722-8.

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