Workers Comp low back pain symptoms vary from person to person. They depend on a person’s condition and which structures are affected. Work related lumbar injury symptoms include 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 and sensory changes (numbness, prickling, or tingling) in the leg, foot, or toes.


The diagnosis of low back pain begins with a thorough history of your condition. You might be asked to fill out a questionnaire describing your back problems. Your doctor will ask you questions to find out when you first started having problems, what makes your symptoms worse or better, and how the symptoms affect your daily activity. Your answers will help guide the physical examination. This is the time it is very important to explain how the back pain started, whether it was a single accident at work or from job duties over time. If it is from job duties, be sure to explain the physical nature of your job – how much you have to lift, how much bending, twisting and turning.

Your doctor will then physically examine the muscles and joints of your low back. It is important that your doctor see how your back is aligned, how it moves, and exactly where it hurts. Your doctor may do some simple tests to check the function of the nerves. These tests are used to measure the strength in your lower limbs, check your reflexes, and determine whether you have numbness in your legs or feet.

The information from your medical history and physical examination will help your doctor decide which further tests to run. The tests give different types of information.

After the clinical examination, radiological imaging tests help your doctor see the anatomy of your spine. There are several kinds of imaging tests that are commonly used.


X-rays of the spine also can give your doctor information about how much degeneration has occurred in the spine, such as the amount of space in the neural foramina and between the discs. X-rays are usually the first test ordered before any of the more specialized tests.

Flexion and Extension X-rays

Special X-rays called flexion and extension X-rays may help to determine if there is instability between vertebrae. These X-rays are taken from the side as you lean as far forward and then as far backward as you can. Comparing the two X-rays allows the doctor to see how much motion occurs between each spinal segment.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin attorneys at McCormick Law Office provide legal representation in workers compensation claims.