If you’ve ever walked through a department or grocery store while employees were stocking the shelves or moving supplies, you’ve probably witnessed a back belt in action. Many employers recommend or require back belts to reduce employee injuries and injury claims.
Many people think that wearing back belts and back braces help reduce injuries of the lumbar spine. This may not be the case as some research has shown. Dr. Michael Pritsker, a chiropractor in San Diego reveals the pluses and minuses of wearing back braces, whether during work or exercising for the back muscles.
But are back belts effective in preventing back injuries? Not according to a study in the December 6, 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. In the largest study of its kind, incidence rates of workers’ compensation claims and six-month incidence rates of self-reported low back pain were gathered from 13,873 employees at 160 retail merchandise stores in 30 states.
A whopping Eighty-nine stores required back belt use and 71 had a voluntary back-belt policy. All employees were interviewed at the study’s inception and again at a two-year follow-up. The following are the findings.
Results showed that neither frequent back belt use nor a store policy requiring such use had any significant effect on back injury claim rates or self-reported back pain. Accounting for multiple risk factors, such as lifting frequency and/or a history of previous back injury, did not substantially alter these findings.
In 1998, a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey revealed that Americans suffered nearly 300,000 back injuries due to overexertion. This resulted in lost days from work. As this study shows, back belts probably aren’t the answer to this growing problem. Fortunately, there are other options, including sound advice and care from experts in dealing with back pain. More treatment for back pain can be found by going to the correct chiropractor.
Author: Michael PritskerThis author has published 4 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.