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Request for Data and Statistics on Back Injuries

QUESTION:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Therapy in Motion Spinal Fitness is a start-up rehabilitation and injury prevention physiotherapy practice introducing the state of the art, medically based rehabilitation equipment to the South African health care and wellness sectors. Drawing from scientific research findings to establish the relationship between chronic back ache and the integrity of the musculature of the spine, Therapy in Motion Spinal Fitness provides a solution for the rehabilitation of the back by diagnosing impairments in the soft tissue of the spine.

At least 80% of South Africa’s workforce is suffering from severe discomfort and even disability due to problems which arise from low back pain. Although there are no official figures available on the cost of disability, it is estimated that worker disability in 1999 cost the economy more than R2 billion. The vast majority of people have sedentary jobs. Whether one has a managerial position or one works in a factory, chances are that you would spend a large portion of your working day sitting down. Backaches, after colds and flu, cause the largest proportion of work absenteeism. Back and neck problems are among the symptoms most commonly encountered in clinical practice. However, few studies have examined national trends in expenditures for back and neck problems or related these trends to health status measures.

Mission

Establish a comprehensive spinal rehabilitation practice delivering documented solutions and tangible results by taking evidence-based preventative care to its logical endpoint: the convergence of health, wellness, productivity, efficiency and responsible cost-effective medical care.

 

Objectives

The primary aim is to reduce the impact and costs associated with the treatment of ailments by introducing a true preventative approach to health care management. 

  • Provide effective management of return-to-work following spinal injury
  • Reduce delayed recovery rates with evidence-based disability duration guidelines
  • Reduce delayed recovery rates and indemnity costs with the concurrent management of treatment and time away from work
  • Identify early return-to-work opportunities with clear indications for job modification
  • Benchmark lost work time and cost data to measure return-to-work performance and demonstrate the value of case management and occupational health programs
  • Open the lines of communication among all parties in the return-to-work process by providing a common framework based on existing and emerging medical evidence
  • Help back injured workers get back to work safely and in a reasonable amount of time supported by the evidence
  • Improve outcomes and patient satisfaction by focusing on restoration of functional capacity through prompt, responsible delivery of healthcare based on the best medical evidence
  • Reduce excessive utilisation of medical services (and corresponding medical costs)
In order to quantify the impact of back injuries on the South African economy, it would be greatly appreciated if the following information is provided:
  • Statistics on the prevalence of back injuries
  • Costs associated with the care of the back injuries
  • Costs associated with absenteeism due to back injuries
The information is for the sole use of compiling a comprehensive business plan and proposal for the justification of establishing a facility to cater for spinal rehabilitation.

Your assistance to this regard is truly appreciated and look forward to hearing from you soon.

ANSWER:

Dear Sir,

We’ve run what we call a Global Absenteeism Management Report on our whole database from 01 January 2007 to 31 December 2007 and I can give you the following information.  For all Musculoskeletal diagnoses the breakdown is as follows (these form part of the top three short term and long term diagnosis, the rest below are a break down of all diagnoses pertaining to back/MusculoskeletalDiagnosis-IncidentCount-IncidentsDays-Days – I hope this helps:

  • Short term claims (less than three days): 3 084 incidents throughout the year and an absenteeism cost of 13%
  • Long term claims (more than three days): 717 incidents throughout the year and an absenteeism cost of 13.6%
I, unfortunately, cannot send you this AMRTM, as it has quite sensitive information. 

Below I have broken down these stats in a little more detail, drawing more information from the database.

Diagnosis pertaining to men:

Diagnosis
Incident Count
Incidents - % of Total (Excluding Not Linked to List)
Incident Days
Days - % of Total (Excluding Not Linked to List)
Employee Count
EE - % of Total (Excluding Not Linked to List)
Ave. Incident Rate per Employee
Ave. Days Absent per Incident
L03 - Low back symptom / complaint
745
8.4000
1,857
7.3015
547
7.6290
1.36
2.49
L02 - Back symptom / complaint
552
6.2239
1,347
5.2963
422
5.8856
1.31
2.44
L18 - Muscle pain
148
1.6687
336
1.3211
133
1.8550
1.11
2.27
L20 - Joint symptom / complaint NOS
116
1.3079
275
1.0813
101
1.4086
1.15
2.37
L83 - Neck syndrome
28
0.3157
232
0.9122
20
0.2789
1.40
8.29
L86 - Back syndrome with radiating pain
73
0.8231
222
0.8729
68
0.9484
1.07
3.04
L99 - Musculoskeletal disease other
45
0.5074
202
0.7942
42
0.5858
1.07
4.49
L81 - Injury Musculoskeletal NOS
25
0.2819
98
0.3853
23
0.3208
1.09
3.92
L19 - Muscle symptom / complaint NOS
43
0.4848
92
0.3617
39
0.5439
1.10
2.14
L84Diagnosis-IncidentCount-IncidentsDays-Days - Back syndrome without radiating pain
15
0.1691
38
0.1494
15
0.2092
1.00
2.53

 
Diagnosis pertaining to women:
Diagnosis
Incident Count
Incidents - % of Total (Excluding Not Linked to List)
Incident Days
Days - % of Total (Excluding Not Linked to List)
Employee Count
EE - % of Total (Excluding Not Linked to List)
Ave. Incident Rate per Employee
Ave. Days Absent per Incident
L03 - Low back symptom / complaint
373
5.4950
968
5.1982
286
5.0352
1.30
2.60
L02 - Back symptom / complaint
235
3.4620
658
3.5335
193
3.3979
1.22
2.80
L18 - Muscle pain
103
1.5174
214
1.1492
92
1.6197
1.12
2.08
L83 - Neck syndrome
21
0.3094
186
0.9988
17
0.2993
1.24
8.86
L08 - Shoulder symptom / complaint
35
0.5156
178
0.9559
27
0.4754
1.30
5.09
L86 - Back syndrome with radiating pain
52
0.7661
122
0.6551
49
0.8627
1.06
2.35
L99 - Musculoskeletal disease other
25
0.3683
64
0.3437
23
0.4049
1.09
2.56
L19 - Muscle symptom / complaint NOS
29
0.4272
52
0.2792
29
0.5106
1.00
1.79
L84 - Back syndrome without radiating pain
10
0.1473
28
0.1504
10
0.1761
1.00
2.80
L81 - Injury Musculoskeletal NOS
10
0.1473
24
0.1289
10
0.1761
1.00
2.40
L29 - Symptom / complaint Musculoskeletal other
2
0.0295
5
0.0268
2
0.0352
1.00
2.50
 
Please let me know if I can assist you with any other information – I’ve tried to include everything here.  I hope it helps!

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