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Chiropractic Study on Back Injuries to be Funded by FEMA

Posted by floriza in Chiropractic

The University of South Florida School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences has received a grant of $1.42 million for chiropractic research from the Federal government. The funds come from a Fire Prevention and Safety Grants program from FEMA, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security.

According to the International Association of Firefighters, back injuries are responsible for half of the injury retirements that take place in fire departments across the country.

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine indicates that 87 percent of soldiers who experience a back injury do not return to active duty. Next to psychiatric illness, back injuries are the reason most soldiers leave their units permanently.

Chiropractic Researchers Hope for Back Injury Prevention

The researchers hope to determine what types of exercise might reduce back injury risk for the military and firefighters. Annual costs are high for treating these injuries.

The study will be led by a doctor of chiropractic medicine and will take several years to complete in phases. The study participants will include 106 firefighters in Tampa, Florida, as well as 600 U.S. Army soldiers in active duty overseen by the Department of Defense. They will be given targeted therapeutic exercises for six months that will be supervised by professionals.

The goal of the exercises will be to increase the strength of their back muscles to see if they experience greater endurance and are less likely to experience back pain. The hope is that the exercises will prevent back injuries.

Common Back Problems

Most back injuries are caused by strained muscles or ligaments as a result of lifting heavy objects or sudden movements typical in sports, the military, or rescue operations. The two most common structural back problems are:

• Herniated discs. The spinal discs lie between the vertebrae and cushion the bones. They also aid in movement and contain soft material inside which can begin to bulge if the outer part of the disc is torn. The bulge can then put pressure on nerves and cause considerable pain, although in some cases, herniated (or ruptured) discs do not cause pain.

• Sciatica involves a herniated disc that is putting pressure on the nerve down the leg, causing pain in that area, radiating from the lower back.

Chiropractic medicine in New Jersey and elsewhere can be helpful in treating back injuries and back pain.

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