Are low back pain symptoms work-related in Wisconsin workers compensation cases First, what are some of the symptoms of low back problems? Symptoms from low back problems vary. They depend on a person’s condition and which structures are affected. Some of the more common symptoms of low back problems are:

• low back pain

• pain spreading into the buttocks and thighs

• pain radiating from the buttock to the foot

• back stiffness and reduced range of motion

• muscle weakness in the hip, thigh, leg, or foot

• sensory changes (numbness, prickling, or tingling) in the leg, foot, or toes

Rarely, symptoms involve changes in bowel or bladder function. A large disc herniation that pushes straight back into the spinal canal can put pressure on the nerves that go to the bowels and bladder.  The pressure on the nerves can cause a loss of control in the bowels or bladder.  This is an emergency.  If the pressure isn’t relieved, it can lead to permanent injury of the bowels and bladder. This condition is called cauda equina syndrome. Doctors recommend surgery to remove pressure from the nerves.  This is rarely seen in worker’s compensation low back pain symptoms claims.

Secondly, what are the low back pain diagnoses or spine conditions that can be considered work-related.  Keep in mind that the insurance company independent medical examiner or IME doctor will most likely not agree that the following low back diagnoses are compensable under workers’ compensation law:

The effects of job duties over time causing spine degeneration or a single traumatic back injury at work can lead to specific spine conditions that are work-related. These include:

• annular tears – are usually diagnosed by discography and can lead to a bulge or herniation

• internal disc disruption – diagnosed on MRI or by discography

• bulging disc or herniated disc –  diagnosed on MRI, can lead to nerve impingement

• Facet Joint Arthritis – job duties over time can aggravate this degenerative condition

• segmental instability – a traumatic back injury can cause

• spinal stenosis – covers many degenerative conditions, job duties may contribute to

• foraminal stenosis – also job duties contribute to the disc bulging, bone spurs, ligament hypertrophy

McCormick Law Office attorneys in Milwaukee, Wisconsin get the best results from low back pain symptoms that are work-related when the orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon makes a diagnosis stating that the condition is work-related and there are facts in the medical records and employment history or records to support the diagnosis.