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Radiologists at risk for lower back injuries, review shows

All Louisiana workers are at risk of sustaining injuries at work, and the types of workplace injuries that they may experience vary depending on the job. For example, radiologists are at risk for suffering lower back pain and other musculoskeletal injuries. According to the American College of Radiology, approximately 33 percent of radiologists report lower back pain.

According to a review published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, part of the problem may be the transition from a film-based environment to a PACS environment. While the PACS environment, which features a digital archiving system, offers a number of benefits for both radiologists and their patients, it may exact a physical toll due to the heavy use of computers. For example, radiologists may be required to sit in front of a computer screen for long periods of time, potentially resulting in musculoskeletal injuries that could include "computer back."

It was noted that there could be contributing factors, including negative workplace environments and poor job satisfaction. The combination of sitting for hours in front of a computer, nonergonomic chairs and a lack of breaks from sitting makes musculoskeletal injuries likely to occur.

Even workplace injuries that may appear minor at first can negatively impact workers. In addition to causing a worsening condition, the injuries could also prevent employees from completing their work in a timely manner. If a person suffers a neck or back injury while on the job, he or she may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. These benefits may cover medical care and a portion of the worker's lost income if he or she cannot work for a period of time. An attorney may help an injured individual file the initial claim or file an appeal if his or her initial claim was denied.

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