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Nearly one-third of radiologists suffer back, neck pain

Technological advancements are typically a good thing when it comes to workplace safety in Pennsylvania. However, a recent survey found that almost one-third of radiologists suffer from work-related back pain, and one of the causes could be the computerization of their field.

According to a review published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, radiologists may be suffering painful side effects from the use of modern picture archiving and communication systems. For decades, radiologists used film for radiological images, but now the field has largely converted to a digital format. This means that radiologists spend long hours sitting in front of computer monitors, often without ergonomic chairs or proper breaks. As a result, many people in the practice suffer neck, back and shoulder pain.

For the survey, which was conducted by the ACR's Human Resources Commission, almost 500 radiology practice leaders were asked to identify workplace injuries reported by their staff. More than 30 percent of the survey's respondents said that their radiologists reported back pain while 25 percent said their staff suffered from neck pain. Meanwhile, 16 percent said their staff complained of repetitive stress injuries. The authors of the survey said that raising awareness about the issue and creating ergonomic radiology workstations could help reduce injuries.

Employees suffering from occupational injuries could be eligible for benefits through workers' compensation insurance. If approved, these benefits cover medical expenses and a portion of a worker's salary as they recover. If a worker suffers a permanent disability, long-term benefits could also available. Injured workers could learn more about the workers' compensation application process by speaking to a lawyer.

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