Work-related lower back pain is a common cause of occupational disability.
Lower back pain is one of the most common problems faced by workers in many industries. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, lower back pain accounts for a third of all work related musculoskeletal injuries resulting in occupational disability. An article published in the December edition of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine revealed that two thirds of the workers with low back pain report back to work within a month, however, as many as 17 percent experience occupational disability for up to six months. Seven percent experience occupational disability for six months or even longer.
The problem is that doctors who treat lower back pain claims often take little time to explain the anatomy of the back, and the treatment options available to the worker depending on the severity of the pain and symptoms, and how long these symptoms persist. A lumber strain or sprain from a trauma or overexertion on the hob can cause a severe spasm, which can render the worker unable to move without experiencing excruciating pain.
If the doctor spends less than a minute with the injured worker, and does not pay much attention to the pain, the patient may have no confidence in the diagnosis and prescribed treatment. Usually, the doctor would recommend a treatment plan, which may not require the worker stay off work long enough to warrant workers compensation benefits. In most cases, the doctor recommends a treatment plan consisting of medication for muscle spasm, anti-inflammatory medication, and six physical therapy sessions.
In many cases, injured workers feel that the attitude of the treating doctor is not caring enough, and in such cases, the healing process is also affected, because the patient is left thinking that the doctor is more concerned about cost savings than on providing proper treatment. Sometimes, the doctor may even question the injured worker’s intention to return to work, leaving the worker humiliated and demotivated.
Unfortunately, there is no magical treatment for chronic low back pain, and it is often difficult to treat. Treatment typically involves pain and anti-inflammatory medication, epidural injections if required, physical therapy, and in severe cases, back surgery. Surgery is usually the last line of treatment, and is recommended only when all other types of treatments have failed. Unfortunately, not all workers may be good candidates for surgery, and they may have to live with significant pain and disability. If you are suffering from lower back bain, a caring doctor, who takes time to understand your condition, and then comes up with a treatment plan that best suits your condition can make a huge difference.
Workers Compensation for Lower Back Pain
If you have developed chronic back pain as a result of workplace trauma or overexertion, you may be entitled to Missouri workers compensation benefits. It is in your best interests to speak with an experienced attorney to ensure that your legal right to workers compensation are protected. Call (314) 361-4300 to schedule a free and private consultation.