Getting sound advice about lower back pain early on in your diagnosis may help speed your recovery if you take a disability leave, suggests new research from Belgium.
In many cases, your employer or physician may provide an evaluation of your back pain for medical leave. But if you also receive advice on managing the pain, you’re more likely to return to work, according to a Belgian study published in the journal Spine.
In an experiment with about 500 workers on sick leave for lower back pain, half were randomly given Belgium’s standard disability evaluation. The other half were also given advice to avoid bed rest, stay active and assume that the discomfort would resolve with time. The workers who got advice had a lower recurrence of back pain and a higher return to work rate than those who were only evaluated.