Low back pain in a worker’s compensation case usually follows a treatment regimen common for any low back injury. Legally in Wisconsin an injured worker can pick his or her doctor and the doctor is not constrained by anything other than good medical practices. Neither the employer nor workers compensation insurance company is entitled to direct medical care. Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are payable when unable to work during the healing period due to a work related injury or condition.
Studies show ninety percent of people who experience low back pain for the first time get better in two to six weeks without any treatment at all. Patients often do best when encouraged to stay active and to get back to normal activities as soon as possible, even if there is still some pain.
Whenever possible, doctors prefer to use treatments other than surgery. The first goal of these nonsurgical treatments is to ease your pain and other symptoms.
In cases of severe pain, doctors may suggest a short period of bed rest for a few days. Lying on your back can take pressure off sore discs and nerves. Most doctors advise against strict bed rest and prefer that patients do ordinary activities using pain to gauge how much is too much.
A back support belt is sometimes recommended when back pain first strikes. It can help provide support and lower the pressure inside a problem disc. Patients are encouraged to gradually discontinue wearing the support belt over a period of two to four days. Otherwise, back muscles begin to rely on the belt and start to shrink (atrophy).
Many different types of medications are typically prescribed to help gain control of the symptoms of low back pain. There is no medication that will cure low back pain. Medications are prescribed to help with sleep disturbances and to help control pain, inflammation, and muscle spasm.
Physical Therapy and Exercise
In addition to other nonsurgical treatments, doctors often ask their patients to work with a physical therapist. Therapy treatments focus on relieving pain, improving back movement, and fostering healthy posture. A therapist can design a rehabilitation program to address a particular condition and to help the patient prevent future problems. There is a great deal of scientific proof that exercise and increased overall fitness reduce the risk of developing back pain and can improve the symptoms of back pain once it begins.
Attorneys at McCormick Law Office get the best workers compensation settlement results in cases where the treating physician supports the work-relatedness of the injury and disability.