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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    2

    Default Lower Back Injuries From Work

    My question involves workers compensation law for the state of: Oregon

    I was injured on the job in December. I was hurt by a patient with alzheimers, when he was having an episode. I went to my doctor and she put me on pain meds, and had an MRI done. I started PT later that week. I did start to improve, and after being on PT for about 6 weeks, my doctor agreed to put me back to work doing modified work in the office. I work as a CNA and could not return to my regular duties yet. I have been having to be creative with pain management, due to the fact I am allergic to codeine, and most meds make me deathly ill. So I took ibuprophen, and Lidoderm patches, a tens unit, and heating pad. I was gradually working at strenghtening my knees, and other body parts to take the load off my back.

    I finally returned to limited duty, and a partial patient load about 8 weeks or so into the recovery. I was doing okay, than I had a full case load dumped on me. I drive for a living, and between long distances of driving, and the patient load was just too large, and while working with another patient I was injured again. My back was hurting like crazy again. My doctor said I needed a co-worker with me for 2 weeks. Unfortunitely I also ended up having more people added to my caseload, making it even larger. I finished my week in extreme pain. By the following Monday, my back was so bad I could do nothing. I again finished the day the best I could, and went to the doctor. I was put off duty again, and my doctor said she figured I would not be able to do this type of job anymore. She requested a second opinion. I got that. Now I have to have a nerve conduction test. The second doctor said the MRI showed I had a mild amount of DDD, and bulging disks, he said it was normal. He suggested injections, than reconsidered when I told him I had diabetes, and he said he didn't want to do injections. He also said if my back ever quieted down from having spasms and pain, he would suggest aggressive PT. I had a hard time doing the PT I was doing before I went back to work. What does he mean by aggressive?

    Now when I talk to the workman comp. rep. she always mentions about me having DDD and damage caused by age. I have told her that I had no back issues before the injury, and I wouldn't have for many years, if ever. Should I put a time limit for the PT, and than get a lawyer if things don't improve? I have had to get a handicap sticker because when I walk my lower body feels weird. Like my body is not working like it should. And do bulging discs mean I am getting older, or could it be caused by the injury?

    I could use some answers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Lower Back Injuries From Work

    Quote Quoting ChaosAngel
    View Post
    He also said if my back ever quieted down from having spasms and pain, he would suggest aggressive PT. I had a hard time doing the PT I was doing before I went back to work. What does he mean by aggressive?
    Aggressive physical therapy is meant to restore and maintain functional range of motion and strengthen available muscle groups. If you want to know the details of what your doctor would recommend, you need to ask him.
    Quote Quoting ChaosAngel
    Now when I talk to the workman comp. rep. she always mentions about me having DDD and damage caused by age. I have told her that I had no back issues before the injury, and I wouldn't have for many years, if ever. Should I put a time limit for the PT, and than get a lawyer if things don't improve?
    No. You should talk to a lawyer before you make any ultimatums. Refusing treatment could cause you to lose your benefits.
    Quote Quoting ChaosAngel
    And do bulging discs mean I am getting older, or could it be caused by the injury?
    Degenerative disc disease is the term used to describe the normal changes in your spinal discs as you age. It's possible to have a degenerative condition that is made symptomatic by a traumatic event.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Lower Back Injuries From Work

    Thanks for the info, Mr.KnowItAll. I was thinking it might be good to talk to a lawyer. I don't want to jeopardize my WC.

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