Back to Work With Back Pain
If you're among the legions of Boomers who suffer from lower back pain, taking a sick leave and becoming a couch potato will probably only make your condition worse. A study done in Belgium and published in the journal Spine found that people with "nonspecific lower back pain" who were counseled about the need to stay active were much more likely to return to work than those who were not similarly reassured that moving is the best policy when it comes to conquering the pain.
Researchers Dr. Marc Du Bois and Peter Donceel, at KU Leuven, a university in Belgium, studied over 500 workers, half of whom got advice and half who didn't. Those in the counseling group were reminded that the condition would probably clear up over time and they were told not to indulge in bed rest.
A year later, a whopping 60% of the control group had experienced repeated bouts of back pain. Only 38% of the counseled group had any further back pain. In a journal news release, the authors wrote: "Combined counseling and disability evaluation by a medical advisor results in a higher return to work rate due to a lower sick leave recurrence as compared to disability evaluation alone." They concluded that people should be "routinely reassured and advised about lower back pain to allow early and safe return to work."