Workers’ Compensation for Lower Back Pain
Do you have a persistent pain in your lower back after you come home from work every day? Back pain is one of the most common workplace injuries. This is often a result of long hours of sitting, lifting heavy objects, or if you have to stand for long periods of time.
The lower part of the spinal cord, also known as lumbar spine is vulnerable to injury when it is subjected to heavy lifting or long hours of sitting. The most common cause of back pain is a torn or pulled muscle or ligament.
Lower Back Pain
The lower back, the lumbar spine, helps us bend and twist. The muscles in this area aid the rotation of your hips while walking and also for flexing. Most lower back pain is a result of a mechanical injury to the muscles, ligaments or joints in this area. These injuries might end up compressing the root of the nerves or misalign the spinal joints.
Lower Back Pain Due to a Work Injury
A work injury is quite simply defined as an injury that occurs in the workplace. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), back injuries are the second most prevalent workplace injuries. Back pain resulting from a work injury can arise from a single act, or from a persistent strain on back muscles over a period of time. Improper sitting posture, repetitive lifting, pulling, pushing etc. causes weakness in the musculoskeletal parts of the back and creates strain in the back.
Types of Back Pain
- Acute Pain: Typically lasts from three to six weeks. The severity of the pain is linked to the extent of tissue damage and is generally caused by a sudden movement. Resting, application of heat-and-cold compression and pain relievers are generally advised, but you must visit a doctor to make sure, the injury isn’t severe.
- Chronic pain: If your back pain lasts for more than six weeks, it’s termed as chronic pain. There could be a number of underlying causes of chronic back pain. And this can last for a very long time in some cases.
Treatment for Lower Back Pain
The treatment for back injuries sustained at the workplace could be a simple hot/cold compress or a complex surgery, depending upon the case. Some drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen are advised to reduce pain and inflammation.
However, if you are suffering from blinding pain, narcotic painkillers like Vicodin, Percodan might be prescribed. Many people also undergo chiropractic therapy, physiotherapy, and ultrasound therapy. Some believe that being low key and inactive is the best way to recover and get back on the job. Complete bed rest and inactivity might make the sprain worse by weakening the muscles around it. Walking can alleviate the pressure off the pain area and keep the muscles active and performing well.
Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
If your injury that is causing the back pain was caused due to your work, then you can file a workers’ compensation claim. These benefits take care of your medical and therapy bills, transportation costs to and from the treatment center, and roughly two-thirds of the lost wages.
The first thing you should do is report the injury to the supervisor or manager. This first report of injury containing specific information about the date, time and cause of the injury is filed on a DWC-1 form.
Next, the company will send you a list of approved physicians, from which you can choose one. He/she will evaluate your case and make referrals to specialists, chiropractors, physiotherapists etc where required. When you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), determined by the physician, or an IME(Independent Medical Examiner) a call will be taken about your disability if any.
An Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help
If you have suffered a back injury while on-the-job, the experienced attorneys at Goldberg & Wolf are dedicated to helping injured workers. Contact our legal team today at (856) 651-1600 to schedule a free consultation.