Back injuries remain significant problem
In developing the most recent report, researchers from the Work Loss Data Institute chose to focus on a few significant conditions impacting workers' compensation systems across the country.
At the top of the list were back sprains and strains, which the study found resulted in more than 203,205 cases in the U.S. with lost workdays in 2006.
In addition to being the most common condition, researchers found that back injuries had a great deal of variability in length of disability and utilization of medical services. Back strain, the study concluded, is a condition for which there are many commonly used treatment modalities, many of which are not supported by the medical evidence.
Researchers found that the overall U.S. trend for back sprains mirrored the trend for all workers' comp conditions together, in part because it was the most common diagnosis. The median number of lost workdays for a back injury in 2006 was seven days, which was the same as the two preceding years. The states with the best outcomes for back injuries in 2006 were Nevada, Minnesota, Iowa, Arizona and Wisconsin. The worst states were Louisiana, Tennessee, New York, Illinois and Texas.
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September 10, 2009
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