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Worker's comp injury 3 months later


I was injured at work on 4/30/14. I was moving something that was around 70-100lbs and felt a pop in my lower back on the right side. I was fine until the next morning. I was in excruciating pain. I had gone to the urgent care office for a first diagnosis on the day of the injury because it had happened at work. There they told me it was simply a lumbar strain, take some ibuprofen and muscle relaxers and a few days off of work. The next day with the pain being so awful I went to the ER. Again, I was brushed off and told it was a mere strain with some sciatic irritation. I was not even seen by a doctor either time. When I finally got an appointment with an occupational health doctor, she said the same diagnosis, shortened my
10 hour shift to 5 and I went to PT for 8 weeks. At this point, the doctor I was seeing retired and the practice was no longer seeing workers compensation cases. My own PCP also does not see workers comp patients. So I finally found a new doctor who I am less than thrilled with and treats me like I'm crazy. He said I should no
Longer be in pain and should already be healed. (I wish I was!!)

I did have a lumbar MRI done in an open MRI machine because I am Very claustrophobic. The MRI was normal. I am still having a lot of pain and discomfort and it is interfering with my
Life so much. The pain/spasms begin across my entire lower back. I also have severe pains in my hip and into my groin. I get a lot of numbness down my entire right leg to my foot and my knee is also aching. I am only 26 years old and am
So aggravated and frustrated.

I am not collecting workers comp currently and am back at 8 hour shifts at work but some days still feel like I can't do it. I work in retail and am on my feet the entire day.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? Could something have been missed?

It's now almost 3 months later and I am in such excruciating pain today I don't know what to do. I only have OTC meds because the doctor said I should be better. I am tempted to go to the ER because the pain is a 9/10 today but I do not want to get treated as a drug seeker.

Any advice?


  • Well it's good that the MRI came back normal. You can always seek another opinion if you're not getting anywhere with your current Dr.
    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • Oh believe me, I am thrilled it came back normal. I guess wondering if it could have missed something? I know this is not all in my head. I am also restricted where I can go because it is a w/c injury.

    I may have to suck it up and use my own insurance though, I suppose.
  • Has a spine specialist reviewed your MRI? If your still in that much pain I would get another opinion, even if that means using your own insurance. I don't know how that will affect your WC case but hopefully you can move forward by going elsewhere.
    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • It must be frustrating to be in so much pain & not know the cause. If a new set of eyes doesn't see anything on your MRI you may need more diagnostic tests. A MRI doesn't always show everything. A scan/xray might show something bone related. Numbness is a big concern have you had a nerve test to make sure there's no damage? I'd definitely be seeking a second opinion...would that effect your workers comp case? I don't know about these things. You need a specialist who's dedicated to finding your pain generator & helping you manage your pain.

    Is your doc suggesting any treatments to reduce some of your pain while your searching for an explanation? Muscle spasms can be reduced with meds & trigger point injections. I know they're terribly painful. Ice/heat & massage with airomatherapy oils helps take the edge off of mine when they're not managed with with meds/shots.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • DyingwafflesDDyingwaffles Posts: 3
    edited 07/20/2014 - 2:58 PM
    I have no idea how getting a second opinion would affect my workers comp case. I've tried researching online about it and haven't found too much in my state and my claims adjuster is never available.

    He doesn't believe I'm in pain simply because according to him I should no longer be in pain. So he put me back to work full time with no lifting restrictions because of this opinion. I haven't been overdoing it but I also haven't been babying it either. He took me off muscle relaxers and ibuprofen simply because he believes I no longer need them. I'm just at the point where I'm ready to pull my hair out. I'm in so much pain tonight and I don't know what to do to relieve some of it.

    I ice often and take OTC pain relievers but they don't even touch the pain anymore. I've had trigger point injections in my head for migraines, so I'm sure they can't be any worse than that! But that was never even suggested. He is also doing no further testing.
  • EnglishGirlEEnglishGirl Posts: 1,825
    edited 07/21/2014 - 9:16 AM
    I've read some really bad accounts of dealing with workers comp. I wish I knew more about it & could help you. It seems so wrong to me that a doctor would just give-up while you're still in so much pain..ugh!!!
    If no-one has any better ideas I think you're going to need to use your own insurance to have a specialist evaluation. 3 months of groin pain & numbness really worries me, if there's nerve impingement the longer you leave it the longer it takes to heal & you risk permanent damage. I don't want to scare you, it could be something else but you need to find out what's going on.

    I've had lots of injections & put ice on it straight after. I've always found them easy & helpful. ;-)

    Are you still doing the PT stretches & exercises at home?
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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