Chronic back pain. Determining its cause can still be a medical mystery in the modern era. Like many, you may experience severe and debilitating back pain for no known reason. Or perhaps your pain only flares up or worsens while you are working.
For decades, medical professionals and employers have doubted employee claims of chronic back pain because of its diagnostic challenges. Modern technology has made it easier to diagnose occupational back pain, but the following two challenges persist in workers’ compensation claims.
Linking the pain to your job
When you slip and twist your back, you can point to a specific reason for your pain. But if you cannot connect it to an accident or event, it becomes harder for doctors to uncover its cause.
It is possible to hurt your back a little bit at a time (bending, stooping or lifting repeatedly) without knowing it. Repetitive strain injuries build over time, often leading to severe pain and mobility problems. Ask your doctors about this possibility and have it documented.
Ruling out a pre-existing condition
Because the cause of back discomfort can be hard to pin down, insurers often deny claims based on chronic back pain. They may assert you are suffering from a pre-existing condition and are thus ineligible for benefits.
Have your care providers give you copies of all the records associated with your workplace back pain. Providing sufficient medical evidence can help to prove your injuries and strengthen your workers’ compensation claim.
You probably do not need anyone to tell you that back pain can be severe enough to disable you in the long-term. Legal guidance may help to ensure you obtain the medical coverage and lost wage benefits you need to recover from your injury.