A nurse may feel her back give out after lifting a large patient and moving them to a new bed, a trucker after helping to unload cargo, or a construction worker when shifting equipment. Whatever the exact cause of the injury, low-back pain is one of the most common and expensive causes of workers’ compensation claims throughout the country.
Although common, these injuries are difficult to treat and often require surgical intervention. It is helpful for those who experience these types of injuries to keep these three things in mind when working through the treatment process.
#1: The procedure likely qualifies for workers’ compensation coverage.
Those who suffer a back injury while completing a work-related task likely qualify for workers’ compensation. The system is meant to help injured workers with the funds they need to heal, but is not always easy to navigate.
#2: Studies have found that workers’ comp patients often have worse outcomes compared to non-workers’ comp patients.
As if navigating the workers’ compensation claims process was not frustrating enough, research has found that those who suffer from a work-related back injury experience a higher rate of difficulties during the healing process compared to those who are injured in other ways.
Although we do not yet know the reason why those with a workers’ comp related injury tend to suffer more difficulties related to the injury, studies have dug into the issue and provide some guidance. Researchers note that the issue is likely due to many factors. One important likely factor: injury severity. Researchers recognize that work related accidents are often more severe than other, non-work-related causes of back injury.
#3: You can take steps to help better ensure things go well.
Even though workers’ compensation related injuries may face an uphill battle on the road to recovery, there are tips that can help to better ensure things go well. These can include:
- The right procedure. Ask questions. Make sure the recommended intervention is the right procedure for your injury.
- The right surgeon. Get information on the surgeon’s experience and training. The more experience the surgeon has with the procedure, the more likely it will go well.
- Rehabilitation and diet. You can also increase the likelihood of a successful outcome by following rehabilitation recommendations after the procedure is complete as well as eating healthy to aid in the healing process.
Although these proactive steps can help, it is just as important that those who are injured while at work get the compensation they deserve to help better ensure they can cover the costs associated with treatment and missed wages.