Is your job a pain in the back?Comment on this story
London - Being stuck in a job you dislike can manifest itself in physical pain, say scientists.
They believe that many sufferers of back pain may simply be unhappy at work.
Researchers claim the phenomenon is unique because in no other circumstances do a person’s feelings lead to physical pain.
Sufferers may be able to ‘think themselves better’, as those with a positive attitude to work are less likely to have lower back problems, they say.
In a study, only 33 percent of people with niggling non-specific backache developed persistent pain that severely affected their career and social lives.
Although some workers required extended sick leave, only a few had suffered a physical change such as a slipped disc. Examinations of the other patients in the study showed no physical reasons for their discomfort.
Research leader Markus Melloh, associate professor at the University of Western Australia, said: “Attitude and positivity in the workplace has a huge impact on lower back pain.
“Positive thinking would make people better. If they get occasional pain and say ‘That’s life’, there is more chance it will go away. If an employee has the option to alter their workplace or job, the condition may correct itself due to the person regaining positivity.”
Dr Melloh, an orthopaedic surgeon and rheumatologist, added: “I do not want to encourage people to quit their jobs, but to make alterations to their role.” - Daily Mail