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According to a survey conducted for the Center for Disease Control, 51.5 percent of adults reported a chronic musculoskeletal condition in 2009, twice the rate of chronic heart or respiratory conditions. This issue is so pervasive it is the third most common reason that Americans seek medical attention.

A U.S. Department of Health study showed that from 1996 to 2004 managing musculoskeletal disease, including lost wages, cost an average $850 billion annually, making it the largest workers’ compensation expense. For employers paying workers’ compensation claims, the economic strain has reached a tipping point. How significant is this specific category of injuries? Consider:

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