Workers compensation lower back settlements often involve a spinal segment, two vertebrae separated by an intervertebral disc, the nerves that leave the spinal cord at that level, and the small facet joints that link each level of the spinal column.
The intervertebral disc normally works like a shock absorber. It protects the spine against the daily pull of gravity. It also protects the spine during heavy work-related activities that put strong force on the spine, such as lifting, bending, twisting and turning.
An intervertebral disc is made up of two parts. The center, called the nucleus, is spongy. It provides most of the disc’s ability to absorb shock. The nucleus is held in place by the annulus, a series of strong ligament rings surrounding it. Ligaments are strong connective tissues that attach bones to other bones.
The vertebrae of each spinal segment do touch in the rear, called facet joints right and left. A facet joint are small, bony knobs that meet, forming a joint that connects the two vertebrae. The alignment of the facet joints of the lumbar spine allows freedom of movement as you bend forward and back. The surfaces of the facet joints are covered by articular cartilage. Articular cartilage is a smooth, rubbery material that covers the ends of most joints. It allows the bone ends to slide against each other smoothly, without pain.
Two spinal nerves exit the sides of each spinal segment, one on the left and one on the right. As the nerves leave the spinal cord, they pass through a small bony tunnel on each side of the vertebra, called a neural foramen.
The lumbar spine is supported by ligaments and muscles. The ligaments are arranged in various layers and run in multiple directions. Thick ligaments connect the bones of the lumbar spine to the sacrum (the bone below L5) and pelvis.
The muscles of the low back are also arranged in layers. Those closest to the surface are covered by a thick tissue called fascia. The middle layer erector spinae muscles run up and down over the lower ribs, chest, and low back. They blend in the lumbar spine to form a thick tendon that binds the bones of the low back, pelvis, and sacrum. The deepest layer muscles connect spinal segments, and the low back, pelvis, and sacrum, coordinating their actions with abdomen muscles to help hold the spine steady during activity.
Most of the workers compensation lower back settlements McCormick Law Office attorneys in Milwaukee, Wisconsin get the most money for involve herniated discs or degenerative disc disease from job duties, often with back surgery but not necessarily.