Low back pain: responsible for 20% of work stoppages

The occupational accidents-diseases branch (AT-MP) of the Health Insurance published, Tuesday, November 15, its annual report. It reveals that, “for two years, the frequency of accidents at work, commuting and occupational diseases has stabilized”.

It was thus 33.9 accidents per 1,000 employees in 2015, one of the lowest rates for 70 years. Another figure revealed by the report: low back pain represents 20% of AT and their number has not decreased for ten years, despite the overall decline in the number of accidents. In 2015, they also accounted for nearly 15% of commuting accidents and 7% of all recognized occupational diseases. This pathology costs nearly 1 billion euros per year for the AT-MP branch, ie the equivalent of the total cost of other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

A recurrent pathology

The vast majority of low back pain related to a work accident occurs suddenly and often evolves favorably without leaving any sequelae. 50% of work stoppages resulting from these occupational pathologies last less than two weeks. In addition, 5% of occupational accidents for “low back pain” give rise to compensation due to permanent disability and the consequences compensated are relatively moderate (less than 10% in almost 3⁄4 of cases). Finally, these pathologies are part of a recurrence of accidents: 70% of people who have had work-related low back pain have already had an AT in their history and in a third of cases low back pain.

Low back pain affects one in two French people

The report recalls that, beyond the professional world, one in two French people has had low back pain in the last twelve months. This pathology constitutes the second reason for recourse to the general practitioner and gives rise to a work stoppage one time out of five. It accounts for 30% of work stoppages of more than six months and is the third leading cause of disability admission for the general scheme.

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