Low Back Pain Leading Cause of Disability Worldwide

Low back pain causes more disability than nearly 300 other conditions worldwide, according to new research, and nearly one in 10 people across the globe suffers from an aching lower back.

A second study, which looked at the condition in specific types of jobs, found that low back pain is responsible for about a third of work-related disability.

“Low back pain is something that almost all people experience at some point in their lives. It is something common across sexes, age groups, countries, socioeconomic groups, education levels and occupation,” said the lead author of the first study, Damian Hoy, a senior research fellow at the University of Queensland’s School of Population Health, in Australia.

“For the majority of people with low back pain, the specific cause is unclear,” he said, but “there are certain factors that seem to put people at risk of having low back pain.”

Older age, low education, obesity, having stress, anxiety or depression — as well as occupations that require significant heavy lifting or are extremely stressful — are all factors that increase the risk of low back pain, according to Hoy.

One U.S. expert said the results didn’t surprise him.

“Back pain is the number one cause of lost work days in the U.S,” said Dr. Anders Cohen, chief of neurosurgery and spine surgery at the Brooklyn Hospital Center, in New York City.

For the first study, Hoy and his colleagues reviewed 117 published studies that included information on low back pain prevalence. They also reviewed surveys done in 50 countries on back pain prevalence and severity.

Compared to 291 other health conditions, the researchers found that low back pain causes more global disability than any other health problem studied. Back pain affected 9.4 percent of people in 2010, their analysis showed.

Men were more likely than women to have back pain — an average of just over 10 percent of men had back pain compared with 8.7 percent of women.

Back pain also varied significantly by geographic area. “Prevalence was highest in Western Europe followed by North Africa/Middle East, and lowest in the Caribbean followed by Central Latin America,” Hoy said.

In Western Europe, the average prevalence of back pain was 15 percent, and in the North Africa/Middle East region, it was 14.8 percent. The lowest rates were found in the Caribbean, where the prevalence rate was 6.5 percent, and in Central Latin America, where it was 6.6 percent, Hoy reported. Low back pain prevalence was 7.7 percent in high-income areas of North America.

Higher levels of exercise, shorter height, higher pain thresholds, and less access to health insurance may be reasons why developing countries reported slightly lower rates of low back pain, Hoy suggested.

The second study — done by researchers in Australia and the United States — looked at data from 187 countries from 1990 and 2010. Just over one-third of all work-related disability was related to low back pain, the study found.

The risk of low back pain was nearly four times higher for people working in agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, fishing and hunting compared to other professions, reported a team led by Dr. Tim Driscoll of the University of Sydney, in Australia.

People working in production, laborers and transport equipment operators had a 54 percent higher risk of low back pain, while service workers had a 47 percent increased risk, according to the study. Clerical work was associated with the lowest rates of low back pain.

Staying in shape is one of the best ways to prevent back pain, according to U.S. expert Cohen. “The average young adult may be athletic and in pretty good shape,” he said. “Once you get into your job life, you may not keep up your normal fitness level and combine that with aging and then exercising a lot on the weekends, and you end up with a situation that’s not good for your back,” he explained.

He said it’s important to maintain core strength and flexibility to keep your back healthy.

For people who already have low back pain, Dr. Rachelle Buchbinder, a co-author on Hoy’s study and a professor of epidemiology and preventive medicine at Monash University in Australia, had suggestions for their doctors.

“For nonspecific low back pain — which explains the majority of back pain — evidence-based management involves reassurance about the favorable prognosis, advice to continue usual activities and stay active, and the prescribing of simple analgesics [painkillers] as needed,” Buchbinder said

Both she and Cohen said surgery isn’t often necessary.

“With aging and growing populations, low back pain is an enormous burden in developing countries,” lead author Hoy said. “This is predicted to grow substantially over coming decades and will likely have an enormous impact on individual livelihoods, health care systems and economies.”

Both studies were published online on March 24 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

More information

Learn more about back pain from the U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Source: http://www.philly.com/philly/health/HealthDay686113_20140325_Low_Back_Pain_Leading_Cause_of_Disability_Worldwide__Study.html


METRO4: 100%-os akadálymentesítés/accessible

We are going to test Metro4 in Budapest, Hungary tomorrow!
Is it fit for us?
We will see!

Hírek, jogi szabályozás a fogyatékossággal élő emberekkel kapcsolatban

A 4-es metró minden remény szerint akadálymentes lesz – így minden ember számára könnyen lehet majd utazni rajta. Meg lehet majd közelíteni a peronokat, a peronokról be lehet szállni a kocsiba, ott el lehet helyezkedni, el lehet férni lehet látni, hallani, érzékelni, mikolr és hol tart a metró, mikor csukódik és nyílik az ajtó. S mindezek segítségével mind a kerekesszékesek, mind a hallás-, látás-különbsséggel rendelkezők, azon túl a kismamék, idősek, nehéz csomagot cipelők is kényelmesen tudják majd használni.

Reméljük, hogy így lesz!

Holnap teszteljük!

Budapest’s latest metro line under construction meets the requirements of the 21st century from all aspects. This involves more than meeting the highest level of technical and technological criteria, but also means that the metro shall meet the requirements set by the society.

Every station of the Metro4 will be constructed with total accessibility. The use of metro will become more easy and simple for disabled…

View original post 108 more words

Push millions improving disability services

Minnesota prides itself on being a welcoming place for all. But do Minnesotans with disabilities have enough choices when it comes to leading quality lives in our state?

5 Eyewitness News sat down with a father and son who are together fighting to improve services for thousands of folks in Minnesota. They’re pushing lawmakers to pass a bill aimed at ensuring disability services are high quality and tailored to each individual person.

Nathan Bauer, a 35-year-old with Down syndrome, lives on his own in Richfield.

“I like it because it helps me to learn how to cook, because I am a cooker,” Bauer said, with a laugh.

He has a job — and a packed calendar.

“I love to read, and I love to listen to music,” Bauer said

“He has been excited about what he’s doing. He loves it here,” said his father, Les Bauer.

His father said it wasn’t always that way. Nathan lived in a group home until 2010.

“It was pretty much disastrous,” Les Bauer said. “When I’d walk in the house, I’d see holes knocked in the wall, doors pulled off of the cupboards and so on, and Nathan being told to go to the basement to eat his breakfast so he didn’t get hurt.”

“It became a hopeless feeling where you did not sleep most nights,” Les Bauer said.

That experience taught him a lesson he wants lawmakers to understand about disabled Minnesotans.

“Those who are happy are the ones that are having a choice about where they live and how they live,” Les Bauer said.

Les Bauer sits on the State Quality Council, which the state created in 2011 to improve Minnesota’s disability services. Last year, the Council urged funding for three Regional Quality Councils, continued funding for the Council itself, and statewide surveys of people with disabilities.

The bill that would fund all three priorities has been introduced in the House and Senate, and would cost of $2 million.

Nathan is a success story. His father wants Minnesota to write many more like it.

“A few more dollars is going to make a tremendous change,” Les Bauer said.

Les Bauer said not every disabled Minnesotan will be able to live on their own — but that passing the bill would allow the state to find out which ones can.

A Senate committee hearing on the bill is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Source: http://kstp.com/news/stories/S3375332.shtml


Never giving up!

Walmart may not have a stellar track record with how it treats its employees with special needs. But the company’s new ad may very well inspire you to think differently about what it means to live with a physical or intellectual disability.

In its latest spot, produced by Saatchi and Saatchi, Walmart profiles a man named Patrick who has lived his entire life with intellectual and physical disabilities. Despite the torrent of struggles he’s faced, Patrick — who works for Little Tikes, a Walmart supplier — never gave up on pursuing sports, academics and work in order to live a meaningful life.

“My whole life people have been telling me I have a learning disability. I guess they’re right,” Patrick says in the ad. “Because I never learned how to give up.”

The ad — which comes on the heels of the company’s pledge to buy $250 billion in products made in America over the next decade — aims to promote Walmart’s focus on American manufacturing.

But at the heart of the short video is a message of undeterred perseverance.

In the video, Patrick talks about being sent to a “different school” and playing on a “different team.” He, at one point, lost feeling in his legs, but endured rigorous physical therapy to be able to walk again.

While the ad certainly highlights some of the company’s advocacy efforts, it doesn’t invalidate the onslaught of criticism Walmart has faced — particularly in its treatment of people with disabilities.

Last November, the company fought the Supreme Court to avoid paying disability benefits, according to Mother Jones. It also came under fire on a local level in October when a store in Durango, Colo., fired a greeter with disabilities for clocking in late.

But over the course of the minute and 44 seconds, it’s Patrick’s story — one of resolved determination to live an independent life — that takes center stage.

“When I wanted to work, I got a job,” Patrick says. “It’s a struggle every day, but I still get up because work makes me feel I’m reaching my goals.”

CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this story stated that Patrick works for Walmart. He works for Little Tikes, a Walmart supplier. 

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/24/inspiring-walmart-ad_n_5022556.html Eleanor Goldbert

Supported employment

“The key challenges of national and European policies relating to people with disabilities are low employment rates, high unemployment rates and a rather high dependency on welfare benefits. For people with disabilities, it is often hard to enter the labour market where they are at higher risk of being ousted from it easily. The future challenge is to promote policies which are able to encourage and empower people with disabilities to enter or remain in the open labour market.”

The United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 13, 2006, is a legally-binding treaty and national legislation has therefore to refer to it. States have to ensure legal consistency with the principles of the convention, such as the obligation to ensure participation of persons with disabilities in social, political and cultural life and their equal right to work and earn a living.

When young people become adults they are expected to get jobs and be responsible for themselves.

Persons who have Down syndrome want to work in paid jobs too but they may need support. As well as the pay, our members like to be proud of going to work.

Society believes that adults with an intellectual disability cannot work, so they are usually given a benefit to live on. Sometimes, sheltered workshops are set up to provide work with other people with disabilities. Working in a sheltered workshop hardly ever leads to a real job. Furthermore, this is not the work environment the Down Syndrome Association wishes for its members.

As more is found out about how to help adults with an intellectual disability to learn, some of them can work in real, paid jobs in ordinary workplaces when and if given a chance. A new way of helping people to work is ‘supported employment’.

Supported employment means: finding a job and putting a person in it; training people on the job and supporting them until they can do it by themselves; being paid; accepting everyone who wants to work, no matter what their disabilities are; the job must be a real one, with other people who do not have disabilities and giving support if people want to change jobs.

There are lots of reasons why it may be hard for adults with an intellectual disability to have paid jobs like other people. In signing the UN Convention on the rights of People with Disability, Malta has laws that state it is wrong to discriminate against people with disabilities.

Maltese law lays down that employers have to recruit a percentage of workers with disabilities. There were benefits that employers got to hire workers with disabilities. However, when the schemes and, therefore, funds ended, the intellectually-disabled persons lost their employment.

Unemployment is a problem for adults with mild disabilities as well as those with severe disabilities

At times, it is hard for lots of people to find jobs or the jobs might require skills and qualifications that people do not have. Adults with an intellectual disability sometimes do not think they can learn new skills and may tend to blame themselves if they are not socially included at work. It can sometimes be hard trying to ‘fit in’ at work and make new friends.

There is also a need to involve adults with an intellectual disability in planning and evaluating their support services.

Unemployment among adults with an intellectual disability is much higher than it is for other people. People with an intellectual disability are not doing a lot better in terms of employment. Unemployment is a problem for adults with mild disabilities as well as those with severe disabilities.

Various studies show that the reasons adults with an intellectual disability want to work are: to earn money; they are bored; to learn new things; to have a career and to be more independent.

Most adults with an intellectual disability need support to find the right job and also need help if problems arise later on.

The government does need to decide how it can best obtain funding and help so that adults with an intellectual disability can work and maintain their job.

Studies that look at the costs and the benefits of any service have shown that supported employment services save the government money after two to three years for various reasons.

If adults with an intellectual disability are not in jobs with supported employment they will likely be in sheltered workshops and day centres which the government also pays for. When adults with an intellectual disability earn wages, they also pay taxes like other workers. Some adults who work in community jobs can stop receiving benefits.

Adults in supported employment have more money to spend than they did before they had a job.

Various Studies have also shown that supported employment services are worth their cost because they benefit both the government and adults with an intellectual disability.

There are barriers that are hindering supported employment in the form of sheltered workshops in Malta because: prominent people are not sharing the same ideas and goals about work for adults with an intellectual disability; families are opposed to change; inadequate funding; lack of trained skilled staff, and opposition by some staff and lack of strong leadership.

Without clear government direction and resources, such services are unlikely to ever come on stream. On the other hand, benefit systems often get in the way of people working because they can end up with a lower income.

Studies have shown that supported employment services provide the best way we know of to help adults with an intellectual disability obtain paid jobs in the community. It has also resulted that most adults with an intellectual disability do want to work.

However, there are practically no supported employment services for all those who would like to get a job. Yet, supported employment services save money for the government in the long run.

The Down Syndrome Association hopes the government would start working on having a supported employment structure that will help persons with intellectual disability find and maintain a job. This is the best way forward, especially for our members.

Anna Farrugia is PRO of the Down Syndrome Association Malta.

Source: http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20140321/opinion/Supported-employment.511497 Anna Farrugia

St. Louis Nonprofit Highlights New Disability Employment Rule

Disability rights advocates in St. Louis are highlighting new federal rules that aim to open more job opportunities to people with disabilities. Starting Monday, federal contractors are required to work toward a goal of 7 percent disabled employees in their workforce.

The unemployment rate for people with disabilities is about twice that of other adults.

David Newburger, co-founder of the Starkloff Disability Institute, says many employers are still hesitant to hire people with disabilities because of some common misconceptions.

“Just as one example, people often say, ‘we can’t hire a blind person because they have to read a computer,’” Newburger says. “But with today’s technologies, a blind person can read a computer just fine. So we need to get over those assumptions.”

Under the new rule, federal contractors will also be required to ask new hires and current employees whether they are disabled.

Related new regulations also require federal contractors to work to hire more military veterans.

Source: http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/st-louis-nonprofit-highlights-new-disability-employment-rule Kelly Macneil

People must work together to achieve an accessible, inclusive and diverse society

I grew up in Dartmouth in the 1980s, where I attended schools where the names of Viola Desmond and Dr. Carrie Best were rarely mentioned in the classroom and never raised in the schoolyard.

Desmond and Best should have been household names In Nova Scotia by then; so today I want to thank the Nova Scotia government for honoring Viola Desmond, the African-Nova Scotia woman who challenged the “colour barrier” in a New Glasgow theatre in 1946.

Desmond’s legacy will be celebrated in February 2015, during Black History month, when the province’s first winter holiday will be celebrated in her honour. I was also grateful to writer Chad Lucas, for reminding us of the contributions of Dr. Carrie Best, the crusading publisher who told Desmond’s story in the Clarion, Nova Scotia’s first black-owned newspaper.

Lucas makes another important point by arguing we still have a long way to go in advancing the human rights of African Nova Scotians. Fortunately, we have an excellent opportunity before us to accomplish that goal. As the former director and chief executive officer of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, I know there is a great deal of goodwill inside government, and in our communities, to work toward achieving social equity goals.

The need to leverage this good will for positive change strikes me daily, as I continue working on a research article, Creating a New History for African Nova Scotians Living With Disabilities, Some Possibilities Arising From The United Nations Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities.

Why is a new history required? For one good reason: Our existing history has brought us to a place at which African Nova Scotians suffer from significant economic and social disadvantages. Indeed, for African Nova Scotians, the past is prelude to the inequalities community members contend with today.

People of African descent first arrived in Nova Scotia in the 1600s, with three larger waves of immigration bracketed by the U.S. war of independence in 1776 and the War of 1812. The treatment of 3,000 black United Empire Loyalists is illustrative. Promised land in exchange for their loyalty to the British Crown, they took second place behind white loyalists in the queue for productive land and needed rations.

As recently as the 1940s, Nova Scotia was an officially segregated jurisdiction, and seven decades later more subtle discrimination is evident in consumer racial profiling. A 2013 Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission (NSHRC) report confirmed what African Nova Scotians already knew from experience – that they can encounter suspicion and hostility just by going to the mall to buy clothes for the kids. In this context, it is no surprise that (as Lucas says) African Nova Scotians are underrepresented in media, as they are in business, government and academia.

My message to Nova Scotians is that we’re better than this, and it’s time to start writing a new history to prove the point. This is particularly important for minority populations with disabilities, who face double discrimination based on racial background and disability. The good news is that the UN Convention on The Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), to which Canada is a signatory, establishes a framework for progress.

The NSHRC has a role to play in promoting the principles of the UN convention. Specifically, it has an obligation to inform disabled Nova Scotians what their rights are, and to work more broadly with the African Canadian community in Nova Scotia to help black people achieve full citizenship and the equal opportunity that goes with it.

In the end, though, the job of building an inclusive Nova Scotia rests not with government or a commission or a minority community but with all of us. This province can stand as a bright and shining example of accessibility, inclusion and diversity if we work together to achieve these goals. Once we do, Viola Desmond and Carrie Best will have triumphed from the grave – not because we’ve created a holiday that honors the former, but because we’ve created a society based on the principles for which both women fought.

David Shannon is a lawyer now based in Thunder Bay. A Member of the Order of Canada, Shannon has been recognized internationally as a passionate advocate of human rights.

Source: http://www.trurodaily.com/Opinion/Columns/2014-03-20/article-3657543/People-must-work-together-to-achieve-an-accessible,-inclusive-and-diverse-society/1 David Shannon