I am from Alabama and would like to share my experience with back pain.
My problems began in 2004(age34) where I was injured at work using a pneumatic toll called a rivet buster to dismantle automotive parts (spot weld check).When i reported to the company(workmans comp)doctor I was evaluated by a physical exam and xray and diagnosed as having a sprain back muscle and to return to work within a few days.I returned home in bad pain within a few hours i went to the local ER where i was again examined with the same techniques and the same results.The next day when i woke out of bed,i could not get up to urinate and crawled on my stomach to the bathroom until my wife arrived home from work where we promptly went to the nearest medical facility due to pain and weakness the docotr there did a different type of physical exam and said I had ruptured at least one disc..and suggested we report to a hospital immediately.
Due to my insurance I had..i went to my family doctor 1st where he gave me a reference to a neurosurgeon.
I then had mri's and additional xrays exams which led to laminectomy of L5/s1 after which i was given the ok to return to work.
I told my neurosurgeon my job duties operating the rivet buster and the length/excersion involved,she said that it did not cause
the injury but contributated to the injury and that it was ok to return to full duty doing my job.When I returned to work the only changes made to my work enviroment was the lenght of time being reduced to perform the job meaning working no more than 4 hours at a time "destructing parts"instead of the 10-16 hours i was doing the 1st 6 months of employment.
During the next 8 years I would periodicaly under go different types of treatment for continuing lower back pain such as injections,pain medications,physical therapy,neuro blockers,high blood pressure medication,ant-anxiety medication etc.
As time went by my pain and numbess increased ,I had a umbelical hernia surgery and a right bicep muscle tendon snap with no given reason also had numerous falls due to my leg losing all feeling resulting in a foot injury that propmted me to see the neurosurgeon because of the pain of landing on my buttock.
My neurosurgeon did a mri in june of 2012 which showed addtional bulging disc and scar tissue build up..she suggested surgery to correct the tissue from choking my s1 nerve and explore my lower spine while doing the surgery..again i asked if my
job duties where affecting my spine..she stated that she didn't think it was causing it but could be contributing to it.
I did the surgery and during post-surgical checkup she noted that my right foot was showing signs of radicular nerve injury(foot drop) and placed me in a AFO brace..she also told me that my spine was instable and recommended a spinal fusion
to help prevent additional disc slips rupters.
The recovery never gave any relief from my pain running down my left leg and the weakness in my right leg,so I decided to have the spinal fusion which was done may 2013 by a different neurosurgeon.
Again I explained how I was intially injured and that how I was getting worse as time went by to the new neurosurgeon
he listend to me but give an opinion as to my job causing the injury..he did explain that my fusion was permanent it could possibly make my pain or numbess worse..I agreed to do the surgery in fear of having more disc pressing on my nerves.
The pain increased and so did my pain meds physical activity made it worse ..so i endend up researching the internet trying to find out how I a 34 yearold with no health problems in 2004 ended up a 44 year old now with a scs implant and waiting for SSDI appeal date(originaly filed 2012 and denied).
To my surpise WBV(whole body vibration) injury is caused by the body being exposed to vibrations which could cause the exact demise I am going thru..The operation of the equipment I used detroyed 3 wrist watches before i stopped wearing them
and countless leather pants belts..it would also destroy the work boot soles causing me to purchase boots at once every 3 months.yet I did not walk very much on the job and did stand a lot using the equipment.
To sum it up my workmans comp claim from 2004 can not be reopened after finding new evidence as to the cause of my injury...The physcians involved are clueless about vibrations causing my injury but in the EU(european union) they have laws for portection against WBV....Due to our (US) osha and other work enviroment protection systems I have lost almost every penny and have medical bills worth more than I am...The state I live in now(ALABAMA) will not allow me to sue my employer for injuries unless it is for workmans comp back pay.
I am not a high educated man and worked all of my life to make ends meet and was tought not to find the distrust in people but to find the kindness...now i'm thinking over how I can go on with my life with the pain and make a living to support my two kids.
Anyone having back pain please look at your job first and see if it could cause injury and remeber that your employer does not know every work hazard..apparently OSHA doesn't either.