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J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1995 Jan;21(1):7-12.

Outcome comparison of workers' compensation and noncompensation low back pain in a highly structured functional restoration program.

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Professional Physical Therapy Services, Inc./NovaCare, Wyoming, MI 49509.


Low back pain is both common and costly. A paucity of information exists within the literature comparing workers' compensation and noncompensation back-injured individuals. The intent of this study was to examine differences between the two groups--individuals injured and seeking compensation, and injured individuals not pursuing a compensation claim. Sixty subjects referred to a functional restoration facility were identified and evaluated, and their progress was tracked. Demographic and return-to-employment data were collected. Of the 35 workers' compensation subjects, 23 (65.71%) were not working during therapy, while only one of 25 noncompensation individuals was not working throughout treatment. Thirty-two compensation individuals (91%) and all of the noncompensation group members made successful returns to employment (p < or = .05). The authors conclude that while some differences existed between the two groups, a high return-to-work frequency was achieved (91%) (p < or = .05). Results indicate high success outcomes as measured by return-to-work, increased function, and reduced pain. These outcomes were obtained through highly structured, medically supervised functional restoration programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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