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So-called normal backs.

Moreton RD
IMS Ind Med Surg 1969 Jul; 38(7):216-219
Records were studied of about 150 relatively young men employed in positions which had not been classified as heavy labor, who had sustained minor injuries during their period of employment, had left their jobs, and had later entered a claim suit for permanent disability. Available records indicated that 85 percent of these men had back conditions preexistent to the minor injury. These findings indicate that in a great many instances, individuals with normal backs present x-ray evidence of anomalous development and preexisting conditions. These conditions are often present also in asymptomatic individuals. The author recommends that x-ray examinations be considered as only one phase of the diagnosis of low back pain. A very careful taking of medical history plus a physical examination are also important. Any trauma resulting in backache superimposed upon a preexisting low back affliction poses a difficult medical problem from the point of view of both the patient and the physician. There are occasions where an individual with a presentation of back pain supposedly arising from a minor on the job injury who is then told he has evidence of a preexisting back problem experiences difficult psychological problems which create added difficulties if that individual decides to open a court case seeking compensation.
Preemployment-examinations; Radiography; Musculoskeletal-system; Back-injuries; Construction-workers; Office-workers; Maintenance-workers
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Journal Article
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IMS Industrial Medicine and Surgery
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division