While some work-related injuries are a result of an accident, others occur because of the daily work activities that a worker performs.
Injuries that develop over a period of time are referred to as repetitive stress injuries. Lower back injuries are one of the most common injuries that workers suffer. Unfortunately, medical professionals often misdiagnose a back injury as a lumbar strain, even when it could be a more serious injury such as a herniated disk that may require surgery. Quite often, Missouri workers’ compensation lawyers are approached by workers who say that they have work-related sciatica. However, sciatica is just a symptom of a larger problem and not a problem itself.
What Is Sciatica?
Medically speaking, the term sciatica is used to define the symptoms of leg pain, tingling, weakness, or numbness that originates in the lower back and travels through the hip down the sciatic nerve in the back of the leg. Sciatica is mainly caused when a herniated disc presses against the large sciatic nerve. So, it is often a back injury that leads to sciatica. Back injuries are commonly caused by pushing, pulling, or lifting heavy objects at the workplace. The most common symptoms of sciatica are as follows:
- Persistent pain in one side of the leg or buttock.
- Pain when sitting.
- Tingling or burning feeling in the leg.
- Numbness or weakness and difficulty moving a foot or leg.
- Persistent pain in one side of the buttocks.
- Sharp pain that makes it difficult to walk or even stand up.
- Pain may range from being intermittent to persistent, and irritating to incapacitating.
- Sciatica symptoms may present differently in different people. They differ in type, severity, and location, depending on the condition that led to the sciatica.
The Sciatic Nerve
The symptoms of sciatica occur when the sciatic nerve is pressed or irritated. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and is made of individual nerve roots that branch out from the spine in the lower back and then combine to form the large sciatic nerve. This nerve starts in the lower back at lumbar segment L3. It runs from the lower back down to the back of both legs. The nerve parts then branch out to various parts including the thighs, buttocks, calf, toes, and foot.
Consult a Missouri Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
You cannot simply approach your employer and tell them that you have sciatica and you need workers’ compensation benefits. You may be able to seek compensation if the condition is caused by an injury that can be directly attributed to the work you perform. If your sciatica is a result of a work-related back injury, but your employer is denying your claim, consult with The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 to get legal guidance and support.