Back Pain and Life Insurance

Back pain relief (in the financial sense) can be found in an appropriate life insurance policy claim. But it is best to apply for the life insurance protection BEFORE you encounter a back pain injury.

Back pain is often a cause of concern when applications are being made for insurance protection, particularly for TPD (Total and Permanent Disability), Trauma and Income Protection policies. The statistics in the following article highlight the importance of taking insurance cover before the onset of back pain experiences: once they have occurred, the risk of a claim from a back disorder being excluded in the conditions of the policy are possible – and quite likely.

back-pain-relief figurine in suffering‘What is back pain?

Back pain is a very common problem. It is primarily caused by ligament inflammation, spasm, tension or imbalance. Some of the most common causes of back pain include:

  • muscle and ligament strains: which occur when weak muscles or ligaments are exposed to unusual or sudden movements and/ or heavy loads;
  • sciatica: caused when pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve (which runs from the lower back to the leg), usually as a result of a bulging intervertebral disc;
  • osteoporosis: the weakening of the vertebrae as a result of the disease can cause the vertebrae to fracture; and
  • stress: muscle tension resulting from periods of stress can lead to imbalances in a person’s posture which may cause misalignment of the spine.

Around half the people who experience an episode of back pain will have a repeat onset.

Are you at risk?

Most cases of back pain are exacerbated by lifestyle factors, including:

  • lack of exercise;
  • being overweight or obese;
  • leading a sedentary life;
  • poor posture;
  • stress; or bad work practices (particularly in jobs which involve heavy lifting).

Prevention and treatment

Because the back is designed to move, back pain can be easily avoided by making lifestyle changes. These include regular exercise and incorporating regular breaks into long periods of sitting or standing.

If back pain is severe, treatments will focus on reducing pain and maintaining movement. Rest is often advised, as well as the reduction of activities like sports or heavy lifting. Doctors may also prescribe medication such as painkillers and muscle relaxants as a temporary treatment measure.

Practising relaxation techniques to reduce stress levels and the use of massage and heat/ cold packs can also assist in managing pain. For those people for whom back pain is an ongoing problem, a continued program of preventative exercises is usually recommended.

‘Back pain’ fast facts

  1. Up to 80% of adults will experience some form of back pain at one or more times in their life;
  2. 85% of back pain can be attributed to muscular causes;
  3. In Australia, musculoskeletal and connective tissue problems accounted for 45% of the long-term conditions reported in 2004-2005;
  4. 39% of Australians who suffered from recurrent back pain, neck or disc disorders during 2004-2005 cited work-related conditions as the cause of their condition;
  5. Back pain is the most common cause of absenteeism at work; and
  6. Back complaints make up one-third of all WorkCover claims in Australia.’

What to do to find your back pain relief

If you have a history of back pain and have become aware of the need to protect your assets and your family’s future through insurances, ensure that the treatment is appropriate and effective – and be able to put an argument as to why exclusion should not be a special condition of the policy/ies being applied for.

If you have not yet experienced back pain, consider taking appropriate levels of insurance so as to avoid the possibility of such exclusions.

Call our office (on 07 3421 3456) – or use the online Contact Us facility to arrange a meeting with one of our experienced advisers to review your insurance needs and any existing policies.