Missed Work Because Of Back Pain

March 11, 2017

Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints for seeing a doctor. In fact, about 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes.1 Back pain  is the leading cause of disability and missing work.2.

 

Individuals who have Injured their back at work from heavy lifting or slip and fall have complained of being bed ridden, unable to walk. Often times their pain management plan, depending on the severity of their injury, may require twice a week visits to physical therapy and rehabilitation. For some patients it may take 3 months worth of care that will probably keep the patient out of work for recovery. Some conditions like Bulging Disc at L4-5 and L5-S1, spinal stenosis may be an indication nerve root pain.

There are many types of back pain treatments that can work for an individual that is suffering chronic pain. PT, deep tissue heat therapy, regular heat therapy, electrode therapy, etc. Whats necessary is a proper diagnoses by a board certified pain specialist to relieve debilitating pain that keeps you out of work. Pain in your lower back, that stems to the lower part of my butt, hip, and right leg may stem from an injury in the workplace.

Employers are not always sympathetic to an employee that is missing work, complaining about aches and pains. Work related injuries are no joking matter. A board certified doctor will schedule an MRI to better diagnose what is actually causing the back pain. Once the MRI results come back the right doctor will review the results slide by slide. The right doctor who knows what to look for. Someone who believes you and will document your condition.

Some employers will schedule termination for employees that have taken days off due to complaints of back pain. The employer is not your physician. There is no touchy feel, compassion and understanding. All they care about is job performance and attendance. The time missed for DR appointments and days hurting can not only physically effect a worker but mentally as well.

Depression and fear start to set in. After months and months of pain and emotional distress, you've found a champion in a pain management physician who believe you are in pain. He knows your not faking, that your genuinely hurting. Workers comp claims can be tricky when it comes to back problems or any other work injury that keep you out of work. No one can fake an MRI report.

Jobs that involve lifting, bending, and twisting into awkward positions, as well as those that cause whole-body vibration (such as long-distance truck driving), place workers at particular risk for low back pain. Low back pain accounts for significant losses in workdays and dollars. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, back pain was responsible for around 60% of cases of people missing work due to pain involving the upper body. A 2004 study analyzed health care expenses in the United States. The analysis found back pain cost over $90 billion, of which $26 billion was spent directly on treating the back pain.3

 

 

 

Back pain can be caused by muscle strain,  tendonitis, herniated discs, and fractures. Shooting or burning back pain that spreads to the back of the leg is called sciatica. Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra extends over another, causing pressure on nerves and leading to pain. Radiculopathy is damage to nerve roots near the vertebrae that can be extremely painful. All these back pain conditions do not necessarily require surgery. There are alternative pain treatments that can help an individual suffering back pain.

People suffering from spinal stenosis -- pinched nerves caused by a narrowing of the spinal canal -- received similar pain relief with fewer complications when doctors performed a simpler spine surgery called decompression, as opposed to a full-fledged spinal fusion, a study from Sweden found.4

Musculoskeletal lower back pain symptoms consist of aching lower back pain with stiffness and reduced range of motion sometimes punctuated by acute muscle spasm.

 

Most people who seek care for acute or persistent low-back pain improved markedly within the first six weeks, but afterwards improvement slowed. Low to moderate levels of pain and disability were still present at one year, especially in people with persistent pain.5

Lower back pain can be result from bulging or ruptured disc, or bone fracture. Symptoms vary depending on severity of the injury.  Symptoms include leg pain, numbness, weakness or urinary problems.

 

Treatment for lower back pain starts out with healthy living. A healthy lifestyle that includes exercise is a start. Diet and weight control can reduce stress on the lower back and foster strong bones and muscles. Smoking can also speed up degeneration of  lower back discs and joints resulting in pain.

 

The first step in order to recover from LBP and get back to work is to get an advocate, pain specialist that will properly diagnose your painful back condition. The proper searches for these types of specialists that diagnose and treat your condition are workers comp doctor, workers compensation doctor, pain management doctors, board certified pain specialists. These pain specialist are no strangers to treating Sciatica, Radiculitis, Herniated Disc, Bone Spur, Pinched Nerve, Bulging Disc, Degenerative Disc Disease, Musculoskeletal pain caused by overuse or injury in the workplace.

 

Resources:

 

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet

www.everydayhealth.com/back-pain/back-pain-dont-suffer-in-silence-at-work.aspx

http://pain-focus.com/pc/types-of-pain/musculoskeletal/
http://news.healingwell.com/index.php?p=news1&id=709969

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23663799

 

http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/symptoms/back-pain-low/print.html

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