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When the Doctor Says Your Back Pain Is Not Work-Related

Doctors in Nevada are required to deliver an evidence-based decision that establishes a connection between a claimant’s injury and its cause in workers’ compensation cases, but physicians don’t always connect back injuries to bending, lifting, carrying, and other work-related activities. When the physician’s opinion does not line up with the facts, the workman’s comp attorney must prove the injury was caused by work-related activities and secure credible evidence that supports this claim to the court.

Injury by Accident or Occupational Illness

Work-related accidents cause sudden and tangible injuries to the lower back. These include slips and falls, contact injuries, etc. When the cause is established and the injuries claimed match the worker’s symptoms, individuals can receive compensation for lower back injuries.

However, occupational illnesses typically are the result of progressive stresses and strains to the lower back. Activities such as repeated lifting, bending, twisting, etc. can cause cumulative damage to the region. These injuries are harder to prove and require the individual to work closely with the attorney and physician to establish a progressive pattern of symptoms related to the injury.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the lumbar spine are highly susceptible to injury. These tissues help support the weight of the upper body and when put under too much stress, they can become seriously damaged. Lower back injuries typically involve muscle strain which occurs when fibers tear when overstretched or overused.

A lumbar sprain happens when ligaments are stretched or torn. When strains and sprains occur, they often cause significant inflammation which leads to swelling. This can create intense pain and a diminished ability to perform work-related tasks. These two injuries typically represent identical symptoms and respond to the same types of treatments. With proper care and treatment and depending on the severity of the injury, these injuries often heal within 2-6 weeks.

Lower Back Pain Radiates Throughout the Body

Lower back injuries often cause secondary injuries to other soft tissues. It is common for the injury to radiate into the hips, pelvis, buttocks, or hamstrings that support the lower back. This can complicate treatment and delay the individual’s recovery from the initial injury long after disability benefits end. It can also increase the cost of care and cause complications during the long-term recovery process.

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