Health care professionals treating stroke survivors could find themselves with additional patients—the family members who care for stroke patients, who, in turn, start to suffer from lower back pain (LBP) themselves.
It’s long been known, and documented in the literature, that caregivers of stroke patients can suffer physically and mentally. Now, a new study, published October 18 online by PubMed, sought to determine the prevalence of LBP and its risk factors among these caregivers. The study determined that caregivers of stroke survivors experience LBP about fifty percent of the time, and recommended that this information should be considered during patients’ rehabilitation.
The findings could prove valuable to health care professionals who treat the 795,000 people who suffer a stroke each year in the U.S. alone, and the 3.5 million unpaid family members who care for them. These caregivers are at risk for LBP because their work often involves physically demanding and strenuous patient assistance such as lifting, moving, or dressing. Such activities can result in the caregivers sustaining musculoskeletal injuries that cause LBP.
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