Markus Melloh A pain in the back is duly a pain in the neck, most would agree. According to professionals from the University of Western Australia, people unsatisfied with their jobs are likely to suffer from prolonged lower back pain than those filled with optimism.

In the study, almost 315 patients who visited their physicians due to back pain were surveyed and inspected after a span of 3, 6 and 12 weeks. A follow-up trial was also conducted after 6 months. The questionnaires basically gauged their attitudes towards work. As the analysis concluded, nearly 64 patients were classified as suffering from persistent back pain. In some cases, the pain spiked after 6 months that is not a usual scenario for GPs.

“Once people stay at home on sick leave, it gets harder to go back to work and the pain gets worse. It’s a vicious circle that needs to be broken. The research shows that if patients feel helpless and are convinced that any movement will land them in a wheelchair, they are making their condition worse,” commented Associate Professor Markus Melloh.

Those manifesting negative attitudes at work and weariness along with uncertainty pertaining to their conditions were likely to suffer from lower back pain that became persistent over time. Employees gaining support from colleagues and having their fair share of duties may regain their positivity towards work. This air of enthusiasm may reduce everyday symptoms related to back pain, the investigators believed.

Not only what patients think about the jobs they are doing but their perceptions of the pain they are experiencing also counts, reveals the team. New measures to help patients deal with their conditions satisfactorily both mentally and physically are needed.

The findings will be presented at the Spine Society of Australia meeting in Sydney.