a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)

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Week: 587.3 

Guest: Dr. Lawren Daltroy, associate director, Arthritis Center, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston 

Topic: History of ‘back schools’ 

Host/Producer: Steve Girard 

NEMA: Do you know about ‘back schools’...coming up...  

SPOT: The best emergency? The one that doesn’t happen. The National Emergency Medicine Association. Visit us at www.nemahealth.org. 

NEMA: Back injuries are a big problem for workers and the companies they work for....  

DALTROY: The Archives of Internal Medicine came out with an article that pegged the cost of low back injuries on the job at 42 point 9 billion dollars a year to the United States in 1992.  

NEMA: And Dr. Lawren Daltroy of the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston says, to avoid the costs of injuries and workers’ compensation, hundreds of companies have developed ‘back schools’  

DALTROY: Back schools were invented originally in Sweden in 1969, developed by physical therapists who were trying to do something that would help chronic back pain patients...proper posture, pain management, how to lift things, how to sit, how to sleep at night, how to lift a baby, but the trouble is that nobody had ever really tested this out in an industrial setting to see if it really did make a difference. There was just an assumption that, "If it’s good for patients, it must....if we train everybody, then maybe we could prevent injuries".  

NEMA: We’ll talk about what Dr. Daltroy’s study on ‘back schools’ found...next time. I’m Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.