Lower back pain is among the most common symptoms of job-related injuries. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), “If you have lower back pain, you are not alone. About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed workdays.”

For most workers, lower back pain is a symptom of a WEAR and TEAR injury. This is an injury that develops over time as a result of the cumulative effects of repetitive stress or repetitive strain. WEAR and TEAR injuries are eligible for workers’ compensation in New Jersey. But, filing a workers’ comp claim for WEAR and TEAR injury presents particular challenges; and, in order to protect your claim for benefits, it is important that you file your claim as soon after developing lower back pain as possible.

Common Work-Related Causes of Lower Back Pain

One of the reasons why lower back pain is so common is that it can result from many different causes. This includes both traumatic events and prolonged WEAR and TEAR. In many cases, a combination of factors can lead to chronic pain. For example, a traumatic injury that goes undiagnosed and untreated may worsen due to repetitive stress at work over time.

Common causes of work-related chronic lower back pain include the following:

  • Squatting, bending, and twisting
  • Sitting for prolonged periods of time
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Using tools or performing other routine manual tasks
  • Using improper lifting technique
  • Bouncing or vibrations (e.g., due to operating a forklift or heavy truck)

Common Examples of Work-Related Lower Back Injuries

These and other causes can lead to various types of WEAR and TEAR injuries in the lower back. Oftentimes, lower back pain will be mild at first, and it will not cause significant (if any) physical limitations. Over time, however, the pain will worsen, and its debilitating effects will become more apparent. Eventually, many people find themselves living with chronic lower back pain on a daily basis, and they will find it difficult, if not impossible, to do their job, chores at home, and engage in other types of physical activities.

Just as lower back pain can have many causes, it can also be symptomatic of multiple types of back and spine injuries. New Jersey workers should be aware that three of the most common work-related lower back injuries are degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, and lumbar sprains and strains.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is a type of lower back injury that can result from trauma or WEAR and TEAR. Due to any of a number of different factors, the discs that serve as shock absorbers between the vertebrae in the spine can wear down (or degenerate) over time. This leads to chronic lower back pain and, for many individuals, it also leads to significant physical limitations.

Herniated Discs

A herniated disc is an injury that occurs when the discs between the vertebrae become compressed and bulge outward. This can be very painful, and it can also cause the disc to rupture (which is a more severe injury known as a ruptured disc). While herniated discs can often heal over time, recovery requires medical attention and rest, and this means that many workers will need to file claims for workers’ compensation benefits.

Lumbar Sprains and Strains

The lower portion of the spine is known as the lumbar region. Lumbar sprains and strains are common causes of lower back pain, and they often result from repetitive motions such as lifting, pulling, pushing, and rotating. Similar to herniated discs, lumbar sprains and strains can heal, but only if the body is given the time off it needs to recover.

Are You Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Lower Back Pain?

If you are experiencing lower back pain that may be the result of a WEAR and TEAR injury at work, you owe it to yourself to speak with a lawyer about filing a claim for workers’ compensation. To learn more about the benefits that are available in New Jersey, we encourage you to read: How Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits Calculated in New Jersey?

Get Help with Your New Jersey Workers’ Comp Claim – Schedule a Free Initial Consultation Today

The workers’ compensation attorneys at Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo provide free initial consultations for injured workers in New Jersey. We only get paid if we succeed in helping you secure workers’ compensation benefits.

Petro Cohen workers’ comp attorneys have a proven track record of success with cases involving lower back pain, as well as carpal tunnel syndrome and many other types of repetitive stress injuries.  We’ve nicknamed these types of injuries as WEAR and TEAR because, over time, the repetitive motion takes a toll on your body.

Led by Frank Petro, the workers’ compensation team of Stephen Matarazzo, Suzanne Holz Meola, Terri Hiles, Steve Lubcher, and Dan Rosenthal has over 100 years of experience in this specialized field, and will fight hard to get you the medical treatment you need and the compensation you deserve. Whether you are suffering from lower back pain or other types of WEAR and TEAR injuries, you can rest assured that our hard-working attorneys will be by your side throughout the claim process, guiding you, answering questions, and seeing your case through to a successful outcome.

The legal team at Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo will go the extra mile to ensure that you receive the support you need to recover from your workplace injury. For your convenience, we have four office locations in southern New Jersey to serve you, including Northfield, Cherry Hill, Cape May Court House, and Hamilton. And in circumstances when you are unable to come into our office, we can make arrangements to come to you.

Contact us today at 888-675-7607 or at info@petrocohen.com to set up your free consultation to discuss your WEAR and TEAR injury claim in confidence. And remember…In Litigation, You Don’t Get a Second Chance.