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Office workers: Drink coffee to prevent back pain

Some workers suffer through the pain. Others are so affected by back and neck injuries that they are forced to stop working all together. Whether the pain is mild or severe, an inconvenience or debilitating, an unexpected source may help workers to prevent or relieve some of their discomfort.

Researchers at the University of Oslo in Norway have determined that when individuals drink a cup of coffee in the morning, it may effectively relieve challenging back pain.

Granted, some back injuries are severe and as a result, coffee may not be a strong enough substance to relieve much pain past a certain threshold. But office workers in particular, who hunch over electronic screens all day, may benefit from the caffeinated beverage.

Researchers gave office workers a cup of caffeinated coffee before allowing them to begin their work. They instructed a control group of workers to start work without giving them access to coffee. After a half hour of continuous sitting, the non-coffee drinkers experienced pain and discomfort in their backs, legs and neck, while the coffee drinkers did not suffer from any of these symptoms.

It is unclear whether coffee generally or caffeine in particular is what caused these workers to feel no pain. Scientists do know that caffeine generally stimulates receptors in the body responsible for minimizing pain, especially in smaller doses. Thus, if workers do not prefer coffee, caffeinated tea or some sort of energy drink may achieve the same effect.

However you want to interpret the study results, they seem to promote coffee in the office. So, upon the advice of scientists, most people should feel free to drink up in small amounts.

Source: The Nordic Page, "Morning Coffee Blocks Back Pain," Sep. 10, 2012

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