Nov 2020

Can I get workers’ compensation for chronic back pain?

Chronic back pain

According to MayoClinic, back pain is one of the most common reasons people miss work and suffer from job-related disabilities. Back pain can include dull aching, burning, or a sharp pain. It may also worsen with physical activity. If you sustained a back injury on the job, it’s important to see a doctor if you experience:

  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a few weeks
  • Severe pain that doesn’t improve with rest
  • Pain that radiates down the legs
  • Pain that is accompanied by weakness, numbness, or tingling in the lower extremities

What are the leading causes of work-related back pain?

Work-related back pain can be caused by workplace accidents such as slip and falls and being caught in or between objects and equipment. In most cases, back pain develops over a long period of time and is the result of:

  • Poor posture
  • Heavy lifting
  • Working in awkward positions
  • Frequent bending and twisting
  • Poor workplace ergonomics

Back pain is often linked to:

  • Herniated discs. A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like substance between the vertebrae (bones of the spine) rupture and protrude. This puts pressure on the nerves of the spine, causing pain and discomfort.
  • Damaged vertebrae. Like herniated discs, damaged vertebrae can put pressure on the spinal nerves, causing a great deal of pain and other complications.
  • Muscle strain in the back. An injury to the muscles in the back can cause prolonged spasms, which can lead to pain and discomfort.

Back injuries are often treated with physical therapy, pain medication, exercise, and applying ice or heat. Serious back injuries such as herniated discs and fractured vertebrae require surgery to reduce the pressure on the nerves in the spine.

What is chronic back pain?

Workplace injuries often cause flareups of back pain that go away without treatment. For some workers, the pain never goes away, even after therapy, rest and pain medication. This is known as chronic back pain and usually affects workers who have degenerative issues affecting the spine. These include:

  • Wear and tear of the discs and vertebrae
  • Bone spur formations
  • Overgrowth of joints and ligaments in the spine

Older workers are the most at risk of developing chronic back pain, mostly due to repetitive stress on the back and spine. For workers who develop chronic back pain, the source of the pain is often difficult to pinpoint.

Can I collect workers’ compensation if I suffer from chronic back pain?

If you sustained back pain during the scope of your employment, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system that compensates injured workers for medical costs and lost wages. Workers who sustain permanent or long-term injuries may be eligible for disability benefits, even if they return to work for light duty.

It’s important that you discuss your injuries with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl. We’ll help you through the complex process of filing a claim. We’ll also prepare all necessary documents and medical records to support your claim and fight for a fair resolution. To schedule your free and confidential case evaluation, contact us online or call us.

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