Mon, Dec 21, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Most work injury claims involve back, neck pain

OUCH As of the end of October, more than 200 workers covered by labor insurance cited injuries and pain in the lower back, neck or arms when filing for compensation

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The latest figures released by the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) show that as much as 90 percent of applications for compensation following work-related injuries involved back and neck pain.

The Bureau of Labor Insurance reported that as of the end of October, more than 200 workers under the national labor insurance plan cited injuries and pain in the lower back, neck or arms when filing for work injury compensation.

Ninety percent of the claimants said they experienced pain in the shoulders, neck, lower back and arms, statistics showed.

Many also suffered carpal tunnel syndrome, characterized by pain or weakness in the wrist caused by compressed nerves, and herniated intervertebral disc, which is a disease of the spine in which the fibrous outer ring of a spinal disc is torn, causing extreme pain in the lower back.

Council officials attributed the recent increase in such conditions to the increased hours many white-collar workers spend sitting in front of computers, using a mouse and typing on a keyboard.

Administrative and clerical office workers, computer graphic designers, research and development staff and others who regularly use computer software such as word or data processing are at particular risk of these conditions.

Council statistics showed that roughly 24 percent of long-time computer users are afflicted by spinal pain that is severe enough to affect their daily activities.

Those who spend at least four hours each day on the computer are the most prone to neck pain.

The council suggested that office workers concerned about neck and back pain make sure that office chairs provide adequate back support.

It also recommended getting up and stretching after about every 30 minutes of using a computer, as this helps relax the muscles.

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