Could My Lower Back Pain Be a Repetitive Stress Injury?

Lower back pain is an increasingly prevalent problem in American society. Roughly 31 million Americans suffer from lower back pain at any given time, and surgeries for lower back pain are increasingly on the rise.

Figuring out the cause of lower back pain can be a difficult endeavor. For many people, there is not a straightforward connection between the pain they are experiencing and any of their habits or living conditions.  For some, back pain may be caused by poor sleep or bad posture. For others, it may be the result of active hobbies. And for some, it can be the consequence of repetitive motions at work.

Repetitive Stress and Your Workplace

If your lower back pain comes on over time, you may be inclined to write it off as an injury that could not be work-related. Or you may assume that in order to get workers’ compensation for your injury, it has to be sudden and severe. Both of these are frequently untrue.

If you have a physical job that requires you to lift heavy amounts, a job that requires you to make certain movements, or a job where you are constantly in a position that is difficult for your posture, your lower back pain may arise over time as a result of the cumulative and repetitive stress of your work environment.

Repetitive stress injuries are just as significant in the workplace context as other more sudden injuries, and employees suffering from repetitive stress injuries are equally entitled to relief. If you need physical therapy, medications, or even surgery to deal with your injuries, your employer and workers’ compensation insurer may be required to cover you for these costs.

But Is My Back Pain Due to Repetitive Stress?

Because we use our backs in all aspects of our lives, it can sometimes be difficult to determine the true source of our pain.  If you have reason to believe that your work environment is causing your back pain, the best thing that you can do is visit a doctor to find out more about your condition and its causes.

When you speak with a doctor about your back pain, make sure to bring up the fact that you believe your work environment may be causing your pain so that he or she can help you to look further into this potential connection. If your doctor agrees that your lower back pain is a repetitive stress injury resulting from work, you may then want to consider a workers’ compensation claim with your employer.

Workers’ Compensation and Repetitive Stress Injuries

Although those with repetitive stress injuries are equally as entitled to workers’ compensation protection as those with more sudden injuries, employees should know that it can be more difficult to convince your workers’ compensation insurer to cover your repetitive stress injury. This is because the insurer may not believe that work is the sole, or even partial, cause of your pain.

Because repetitive stress injuries can be difficult to diagnose and treat, they are often subject to extra scrutiny in workers’ compensation proceedings. The best way to proactively fight back against suspicion or denial by your workers’ compensation insurer is to work closely with your doctor to obtain good medical evidence of your injury and its cause, and to ensure you have a qualified workers’ compensation attorney by your side.

By presenting this evidence to your employer, you may be able to avoid a battle over a workers’ compensation claim. And even if your claim is still denied, this evidence will also be needed to fight back against a denial in workers’ compensation hearings and proceedings down the road.

New Jersey Attorneys Helping You Understand and Deal with Repetitive Stress Injuries

If you believe that you may be suffering from a repetitive stress injury that is leading to lower back pain and preventing you from working or leading to significant medical bills, you should speak with an attorney to learn more about repetitive stress injuries and the coverage you may be entitled to under workers’ compensation laws. The first step in fighting for your rights is understanding the options available to you.

For those employees that may be considering making a workers’ compensation claim for a repetitive stress injury, or who have made a claim and had it denied, you may need the assistance of an attorney to fight for your right to benefits in workers’ compensation proceedings. At Petro Cohen, P.C., our experienced workers compensation attorneys can assist you.

The lawyers at Petro Cohen, P.C. have handled hundreds of workers’ compensation cases involving repetitive stress.  In fact, we call these types of cases WEAR and TEAR, as they often develop over a period of time as the physical demands of your job take a toll on your body. The benefits payable for WEAR and TEAR claims are identical to accident related workers’ compensation benefits.

You can rest assured that our knowledgeable attorneys will handle your matter with the respect you deserve, regardless of the size of your case. Your case management will involve a comprehensive review of basic workers’ compensation coverage – such as wages and medical coverage – along with more complex issues, such as work-related medical conditions, loss of function, as well as WEAR and TEAR injuries.

For your convenience, Petro Cohen, P.C. has four office locations in Northfield, Cape May Court House, Cherry Hill, and Hamilton, NJ.  You may contact all four of our offices Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM until 5:30 PM or leave a message after hours with our answering service and someone will respond promptly.  We also have Live Chat available 24/7 on the firm’s Web site:

For more information or assistance with your potential repetitive stress injury claim through the workers’ compensation system, contact us online or at (888) 675-7607 to schedule your free consultation with one of our New Jersey workers’ comp attorneys. We can answer your questions and determine the most efficient way to proceed in order to help you and your family obtain the compensation that you deserve.