Some work-related low back conditions that should be covered by workers compensation if supported by the facts and a doctors opinion are explained.
Our intervertebral discs change with age, and degeneration occurs due to tears from wear and job duties over a period of time at work. They can also be the result of a sudden injury to the disc due to a twisting, bending or lifting incident.
Internal Disc Disruption
Multiple annular tears can lead to a disc that becomes weak. The disc starts to degenerate and collapse. The vertebrae begin to compress together. The collapsing disc can be the source of pain because it has lost the ability to be a shock absorber between the vertebrae. This condition is sometimes referred to as internal disc disruption.
A disc that has been weakened may rupture, bulge or herniate. A disc herniation usually causes compressive problems if the disc presses against a spinal nerve. The chemicals released by the disc may also inflame the nerve root, causing pain in the area where the nerve travels down the leg. This type of pain is referred to as sciatica. Heavy, repetitive bending, twisting, and lifting at work can place too much pressure on the disc, causing the bulging or herniated disc.
Facet Joint Arthritis
The facet joints along the back of the spinal column link the vertebrae together. If a disc loses its height, the vertebra above the disc begins to compress toward the one below. This causes the facet joints to press together. Articular cartilage covers the surfaces where these joints meet and can develop osteoarthritis as the articular cartilage wears away over time.
Segmental instability means that the vertebral bones within a spinal segment move more than they should. If the disc has degenerated or the supporting ligaments are stretched over time from heavy work duties, one vertebral body begins to slip over the one below it, a condition is called spondylolisthesis.
Spinal nerves exit the spinal canal between the vertebrae in a tunnel called the neural foramen. Foraminal stenosis, meaning narrowing of the tunnel, is caused by disc bulging or herniation, facet arthritis, and ligament hypertrophy or stretching – all conditions caused by heavy lifting job duties.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin attorneys at McCormick Law Office represent injured workers with work-related low back conditions. Our attorneys get the most workers compensation benefits when the treating doctor provides a trustworthy and honest opinion based on accurate facts in the certified medical records. We find work-related low back conditions in people working as a carpenter, boilermaker, ironworker, HVAC, drywaller, loading dock, truck driver, laborer, glazier, plumber, maintenance man, nurse, CNA, machinist and warehouse worker.