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Looking for answers....

Hello all, new guy here, hoping someone (anyone) here can offer some advice.

I was injured on the job back in July and sent to the ER by my employer. The ER doc suspected I pulled a muscle, told me to take a few days off, gave me some pain killers, made me an appointment with another doc, and sent me on my way.

I went to my appointment and the doc diagnosed me with strain of thoracic region and lumber strain, gave me some pain killers, put me on light duty of 4 hours per day, and prescribed physical therapy.

After 4 weeks of physical therapy, not only was I not feeling better, I was actually feeling worse. However, the doctor was still convinced physical therapy would work if given enough time, and prescribed 3 more weeks of it, along with an MRI.

By this point, I was hurting so bad after physical therapy that all I wanted to do was go home and spend the rest of the day in bed, popping pain killers and laying around with an ice pack on my back to dull the pain. So I called up my worker's comp, told them what was going on, that I could not take another 3 weeks of physical therapy, and asked to be moved to another doc.

Worker's comp set me up with another doc and got me in to see him the day after my MRI. This guy spent about 2 minutes with me. He took a quick look at my MRI and said he could see nothing out of the ordinary, set me up with a follow up appointment with another doc, and said I should go back to my normal routine with very few restrictions.

I explained to this guy my normal routine was working 12 hour shifts, and how some days I could barely stand to move about for a few minutes, much less 12 hours. His response: Give it a shot. And he nonchalantly walked away.

Fortunately for me, this doc put as a restriction that I shouldn't bend over more than 6 times per hour. Since I have to bend a lot, this was enough to keep me from going back to my normal 12 hour a day routine. There was no way I could handle pulling a 12 hour shift. I was barely making it through the 4 hour shifts the other doc limited me to.

At this point, I'm not sure what to do, and I'm not getting any satisfactory answers. So far, all I've gotten is a lot of guess work. They guess I have a pulled muscle, but they don't know for sure. And it seems like no one's willing to listen. I keep telling them the pain is mostly on this one particular spot on my spine, and tends to become more intense the more I move around. But they keep insisting it has to be a pulled muscle.

Can anyone offer any advice? Has anyone had a similar experience? Is there anything I should know, or do, that would help me get through this quicker? Any advice would definitely be appreciated.


  • I have a lot of disc messed up throughout my spine. I know the pain in the thoracic are can be excrutiating, I have it myself. When they did your MRI did they inject you with any kind of dye? I would think that you need to go and see your regular doctor, not the workers comp doctor your employer sends you to. Go to your regular doctor and tell him what's going on and request another MRI , the one where they inject you with a dye so that they are able to get a clearer picture of your spine.if your in that much pain there has to be something they missed. Whatever you do go to your own doctor. I would definitely go to my own physician and let him know that you want a second opinion bc you know that something's going on and definitely request the dye with the MRI. Let me know how it turns out. You can private message me if you like.
  • My injury wasnt workmans comp but----- I suggest get a copy of that MRI or have another one done. Take it to your reg doctor. Be persistant. If it keeps hurting keep going back- over and over. If your doc doesnt see anything- demand to see a neuro. You have to be persistant. Its your back- you only have one.
  • Did they read your mri to you or at least tell you what was on it. Allot of doctors skip things that are mentioned because they don't think its important. Get a copy and take it to a doctor that you trust.
  • PostACDFPPostACDF Posts: 23
    edited 10/14/2012 - 12:43 PM
    My advise to you would be forget workers comp doctors if you want to find out whats wrong with you and actually get better.
    I could tell you all of my HORROR stories pertaining to how my employer and their MPN/WC "handles" injuries, but if in your case treatment you are getting does not feel right, run to another dr., that is not associated with your employer. Your injury could be serious and requiring intervention and the insurance company drs are trying to wait it out, minimize it, make you suffer to save money, maybe even black mail you into being drug addict, etc. Get the diagnosis and help you need, don't wait for any honesty or compassion from WC drs. It's unbelievable and seems impossible to what extend the "system"
    will delay, deceive, and wear you down, all just to save money, very little with workers comp in my experience has to do with proper treatment of injuries. It's corruption at its finest. You might be trapped and forced to see only WC drs, and that's where the "system" decides the value and extend of the damage. Treatment is the last thing on their mind. Find the good dr on your own, dont even mention WC case to make sure you have a chance for honest evaluation. Good luck.
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