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EUROSPINE: Out of Work due to Back Pain

Patient Information Day in Berlin, 4 October 2016

Zürich (ots) - Back pain is a major health problem in the Western world and can be present throughout one’s life. Though estimates vary widely, studies show a lifetime prevalence of back pain of up to 90%. It is also considered one of the most common reasons for visits to physicians. However, a majority of affected patients recover within a few weeks.

In most cases no specific disease can be found as trigger of pain. This is called “nonspecific back pain” and can be caused by various factors, such as physical, psychological or work-related problems. To ensure that the pain is not caused by a serious condition, the physician will take the medical history, examine the patient and evaluate warning signs, so-called red flags. Conditions that may respond to specific treatments could be nerve root compression from herniated discs, spinal stenosis, inflammatory diseases or vertebral compression fractures.

There is a general understanding that prior history of back pain is a risk factor for future relapses. Risk factors for developing chronic pain, so-called yellow flags, include depression, pain-related cognition and passive pain behaviour, work dissatisfaction or loss of employment. Chronic pain can influence one’s professional life as well as many aspects of daily activities such as maintaining relationships, sleeping and doing chores. One in four patients with chronic pain states that the pain has an impact on their employment status. Sickness absence can be associated with a variety of social, psychological and economic aspects. Moreover, indirect costs due to reduced work capacity or incapacity to work at all are higher than direct healthcare costs.

Adequate management and treatment of back pain are key factors for quality of life and avoiding costs.

Nonspecific back pain should be treated with multimodal treatment options. Regular activity, physical therapy and appropriate training are some of the most important aspects to ensure muscular stability. Bed rest is no longer advocated for back pain. Returning to work can help getting back to a normal pattern of activity and provide a distraction from the pain. Therefore, an early return to work is recommended in most cases nowadays.

To find out more, you may visit the free Patient Information Day of EUROSPINE 2016 in cooperation with the “Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin”, taking place at the CityCube Berlin Congress Centre (Messedamm 26, 14055 Berlin, Germany), on Tuesday, 4 October 2016, from 09:00 to 16:30h.

Further information about the programme:

Press contact, interview requests, accreditation:

Felix Degeler
Public Information Officer
Phone: +41 44 586 4888

Anna Faber
Head of Communications

30 Sept 2016
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