In degenerative disc disease, what parts of the spine are involved? In worker's comp, the area usually involved is the low back or lumbar spine vertebrae. An intervertebral disc sits between each pair of vertebrae. Think of the disc as a jelly donut. The dough or outside is the annulus, made of tough connective tissue fibers called collagen. These fibers help the disc withstand tension and pressure when jump, turn, twist and lift - the kind of things involved in a physical job like warehouse work or construction to name just two. The disc normally works like a shock absorber protecting the spine during strenuous activities.
Workers Compensation Lumbar Disc Herniation Diagnosis begins with a complete history and physical exam. The doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and how your problem is affecting your daily activities. This is the place where it is very important that the injured worker describe 1) detailed incident description of how he or she got hurt at work if from a single traumatic incident or 2) detailed explanation of the physical job duties that have caused the back pain over the years if from job duties over time as opposed to a single work accident. This medical record can make or break a workers compensation claim.
Yes, job duties cause spinal stenosis in certain circumstances. This is the conclusion of the best medical evidence as reported in scholarly papers. For example, a well-known article in Spine in March 1995, sought to understand the long-term effects of exercise on low back pain and spinal stenosis. The results showed weight lifters and soccer players had higher rates of deterioration as shown on MRI results than runners and nonathletes.
What are the causes of workers comp spinal stenosis? In the lumbar spine, the spinal canal usually has more than enough room for the spinal nerves. The canal is normally 17 to 18 millimeters around, slightly smaller than a penny. Spinal stenosis develops when the canal shrinks to 12 millimeters or less. When the size drops below 10 millimeters, severe symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis occur. There are many reasons why symptoms of spinal stenosis develop. Some of the more common reasons include congenital stenosis (being born with a small spinal canal), spinal degeneration, spinal instability and disc herniation.
Vocational retraining benefits continued:
Herniated disc diagnosis begins with a complete history and physical exam. The doctor will ask questions about symptoms and how the problem is affecting daily activities. Questions about pain location and whether there is numbness or weakness in the legs. The doctor will also want to know what positions or activities make symptoms worse or better.
Temporary total disability, or partial, refers to wage loss during the healing period for which temporary total or temporary partial disability benefits are payable. Wis. Stats. Sec. 102.43.
Legal causation in Wisconsin is provided for on the WKC-16B form in Questions 11, 12 and 13. Question 11 deals with direct causation of a new injury or the definite breakage of a pre-existing condition. Question 12 addresses an aggravation of a pre-existing condition, which the Lewellyn case explains in category 3 below:
A TENS unit for workers compensation cervical or lumbar injured workers produces an electrical impulse that can be adjusted for pulse, frequency, and intensity. The exact mechanism by which it works to reduce or even eliminate pain is still unknown. It is possible there are several different ways TENS works. For example, TENS may inhibit (block) pain pathways or increase of the secretion of the pain reducing substances (endorphins, serotonin) in the CNS.
Rehabilitation after work-related vertebral a compression fracture can be a slow process. If unable to work, one should be receiving workers comp benefits while attending therapy sessions and understand recovery can take time.