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Go to work, ease backache

health and fitness Updated: Sep 07, 2007 18:08 IST
IANS
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Experts have said that people who suffer from back pain and arthritis should stay in work if they want to recover quickly.

Some people who suffer from the musculoskeletal disorders - the most common occupational illness - usually stop working within five years of diagnosis of the disease.

The disorders include problems such as low back pain, joint injuries and repetitive strain injuries of various sorts. Many sufferers take long periods of sick leave or quit work altogether.

Even some doctors suggest that they should resume working only after becoming 100 percent well. But such people may be doing themselves more harm than good, reported the online edition of BBC News.

Evidence suggests that people can benefit from going back to work as soon as possible and doctors and employers need to focus on what people can do rather than what they cannot, the report by Michelle Mahdon of The Work Foundation said.

"It may cause or aggravate symptoms, but evidence suggests that with the right support arrangements, work can also be part of the recovery by contributing to a person's self-esteem and sense of being productive," the report said.

"In appropriate cases a return to normal activities could lead to more rapid recovery, although fear of pain and lack of support from colleagues could make it daunting," Professor Alan Silman, medical director of the Arthritis Research Campaign, said.

"However, work can be a major contributor to musculoskeletal problems through excessive loading, poor posture, repetitive movements and other mechanical causes," he added.

He said each person needed to be assessed individually to evaluate whether the work place environment could be modified to encourage return to work.

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