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Posts tagged "work-related"

Workers Comp Denied as Degenerative Disc Disease Diagnosis

Degenerative disc disease is a back injury precipitated and aggravated by physical job duties. Pain in the center of the low back is often the first symptom and it may worsen after heavy physical activity or staying in one posture for a long time. The back may also begin to feel stiff. Resting the back eases pain. At first, symptoms only last a few days but as time goes on it becomes persistent. Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease back pain often comes and goes over the years. Doctors call this recurring back pain. Each time it strikes, the pain may seem worse than the time before. Eventually the pain may spread into the buttocks or thighs, and it may take longer for the pain to subside.

Workers Comp Denied as Degenerative Disc Disease

Workers Comp Degenerative Disc Disease in the low back or lumbar spine is the focus of our work injury law practice. We represent people who have significant low back pain and limitations which prevent them from doing physical labor like they used to. Our job to is prove that the physical job duties of their work contributed to their lumbar degenerative disc disease. The workers compensation insurance company and the IME or independent medical examiner like to deny workers comp claims saying its pre-existing or unrelated to the job. While every case is different and there are no guarantees, our track record speaks for itself. The following blogs will discuss degenerative disc disease so people can better understand how their condition is related to the work they do or did.

Work-related Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment

Degenerative disc disease treatment for an injured worker is nonsurgical and surgical. Almost all people over a certain age have some degree of degenerative disc disease. The question we are concerned with is whether an employee with a physical job has had his or her DDD aggravated or accelerated by their physical job duties at work over a period of time. If so, then they have a workers compensation claim. This is a medical and legal question which an experienced workers compensation attorney can help determine.

Work-Related Degenerative Disc Disease Symptoms and Diagnosis?

Degenerative disc disease symptoms often include pain in the center of the low back as often the first symptom. Injured employees may notice this in the morning before going to work and then in the evening after work. It can starts to affect workers in their twenties or thirties, but is most common in the fifties or sixties. Pain tends to worsen after heavy physical activity or staying in one posture for a long time. The back may also begin to feel stiff. Resting the back eases pain. At first, symptoms only last a few days.

Is Degenerative Disc Disease Work Related?

Yes, degenerative disc disease can be work-related or caused by job duties over time. It is very important that the injured worker explain to every doctor or therapist he or she sees the type of physical job duties required of them. The intervertebral discs in the lower spine are commonly blamed for low back pain. Yet low back pain has many possible causes, and doctors aren't always certain why symptoms occur. IME doctors like to pass off degenerative disc disease as age related, ignoring that DDD can be caused by job duties too.

What is a Work-Related Injury

To be work-related, an injury must occur while the employee is "performing service growing out of and incidental to his or her employment," Wis. Stat. § 102.03(1)(c)1., or, as more commonly phrased, while the employee is in the course of his or her employment. The employee, not the injury, must be in the course of the employment. The Wisconsin Supreme Court favored a liberal construction of this statute so most employees at work are covered. Brienen v. Public Serv. Co., 166 Wis. 24 (1917).

What is a Work Related Injury

A work related workers compensation injury entitles an injured worker to workers compensation benefits, if an employee sustains an injury, defined in section 102.01(2)(c) as "mental or physical harm to an employee caused by accident or disease ... ." Some injuries caused by mental stress without trauma are excluded. An injury or condition is work-related if it was caused by a traumatic incident or accident at work or by job duties over time.

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