Low back pain is a common and often debilitating issue that affects a significant percentage of working adults. It can have a profound impact on their daily lives, productivity and overall well-being.
Understanding the factors that contribute to low back pain helps employers and employees take steps to mitigate this common problem.
Low back pain prevalence
Low back pain is a widespread problem that affects millions of working adults in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 26% of working adults experience low back pain at some point during their careers. Furthermore, adult workers between the ages of 45 and 64 are particularly at risk of experiencing low back pain.
Low back pain consequences
Low back pain often leads to absenteeism as individuals may need time off work to recover. This absence can disrupt their job responsibilities and affect workplace productivity. Even when working adults with low back pain do show up at their jobs, they may not be able to perform at their best. Presenteeism, where employees are present but not fully productive, can result from pain-related discomfort and reduced concentration.
For those in physically demanding jobs, low back pain can be particularly problematic. Construction workers, warehouse employees and health care professionals, for example, may struggle to perform their job tasks effectively when dealing with low back pain. Office workers who spend long hours at a desk are not exempt from low back pain, either. Prolonged sitting and poor ergonomics can contribute to the development and exacerbation of low back pain, affecting their comfort and efficiency.
Working adults who experience low back pain may need medical care, such as physical therapy, chiropractic care or pain management, to alleviate symptoms and improve mobility. Employers and employees alike must be proactive in addressing low back pain through prevention and treatment strategies to ensure a healthier and more productive workforce.