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Fatigue, Distraction Play Role in Risk of Low Back Pain

Another big culprit: manual labor that involves awkward positions

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Significant risk factors for low back pain include fatigue, manual labor involving awkward positions, and being distracted during an activity, according to research findings reported online Feb. 9 in Arthritis Care & Research.

“Our study is the first to examine brief exposure to a range of modifiable triggers for an acute episode of low back pain,” Manuela Ferreira, Ph.D., an associate professor at the George Institute for Global Health and Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney, said in a journal news release.

The new study included 999 people in Australia with acute low back pain who provided information about what they were doing in the 96 hours before the start of their back pain. Doing manual labor that involved awkward positions increased the risk of low back pain eight-fold. Other significant risk factors included fatigue and being distracted during an activity. The risk of back pain was highest between 7 a.m. and noon.

“Understanding which risk factors contribute to back pain and controlling exposure to these risks is an important first step in prevention,” Ferreira said.

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