Management of Acute Lumbar Injuries in the Workplace

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Abstract

Occupational acute lumbar injuries are a common injury. One intervention that is unique to occupational health is the determination of the amount of physical activity that an injured worker can perform without increasing the risk of further injury. Clinical recommendations suggest that workers continue to stay active; however, it is still the clinician's responsibility to determine the level of activity. The level of work activity is determined on a case-to-case basis and is done by evaluating the physical capacity of an injured worker and the job description. Current evidence-based guidelines suggest that staying active may actually reduce pain levels. The purpose of this evidence-based literature review is to outline the proper assessment and management of workers who have sustained a work-related low back injury. The related literature has been reviewed as well as red flags for more severe neurological conditions that require more in-depth evaluation. Determining the safe level of activity and guided return to work have been discussed.

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