'Back-breaking' beliefs contribute to injuries in health care workers
Researchers from the National Research Center for the Working Environment in Copenhagen, Denmark, set out to investigate the association between physical workload and lower back pain and whether fear avoidance beliefs had a predictive effect on developing the musculoskeletal disorders. Fear avoidance beliefs involve avoiding physical activities that are expected to cause pain although ironically these beliefs are often associated with developing chronic pain.
The study examined more than 2,600 health care workers. The researchers found that the picture differed among those who had suffered from lower back pain versus those who had not. For those who had a history of the condition, both workload and fear avoidance beliefs played a part in new episodes of lower back pain. However, for those without a history of the condition, workload was not a significant factor in developing lower back pain during the study, but fear avoidance beliefs were.
"From a treatment perspective, focusing on changing fear avoidance beliefs among those with more or less chronic lower back pain may be beneficial," said Jette Nygaard Jensen, lead author of the study.
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December 10, 2009
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