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question regarding occupational change


I'm new here. Actually I'm not so sure I'm even in the right place for the questions that I have. It looks like a good place to start though!

So, first - Hi every one and thank you for offering a place for people with back problems to get the information and support they need!

My name is Jonathan, I am 25, I live in Puyallop WA,I love hiking biking and swimming, and I have had chronic back pain now for a long time. I have spent well over 7K of my own cash in Medical doctors and chiropractic treatment (mostly chiropractic).

I have been diagnosed with 3 herniated discs in my lower spine (don't remember which ones, but I think it was L5 and down).

I started out my career life in landscaping where I received my initial injuries, then I went to commercial driving which compounded my problems, then I went to janitorial thinking the constant movement would help. However, I knew I had a serious chronic situation when I found myself flat on the floor screaming while trying to clean the bathrooms.

After three years of unemployment, constant stretching, and exercise; I was desperate for a job and feeling ok, so I hired on with a company building storage sheds and barns.

Now after two weeks of work my back is out again, and I am unemployed again!

This time however I am broke, in pain, defeated, and worst of all have no clue what to do.

I have applied to thousands of jobs that would be more tolerable for my back, such as security work, call centers, delivery, inspection, ect... But because I have experience in heavy industry outdoor work they apparently think I’m not qualified.

I am a hard worker and extremely self reliant. I have never taken one penny of government funded welfare including unemployment. I have always believed that nothing comes free, and the payment of government welfare is my freedom and the freedom of others – i.e. more taxes.

However I am now up against a brick wall. I’ve got to get help, but I don’t know the hoops and red tape.

I’ve heard that there are state programs that will offer training for people with disabilities, to get them in a suitable line of work, and give them employer preference by offering tax breaks to employers who hire them.

Does anyone know where to go or who to talk to about this, or does anyone know of similar services?

Any information you guys can offer would be a big help!

Thanks so much Jonathan



  • LizLiz Posts: 8,835
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and growing.
    Here are just some of the highlights that are available as tabs on the main Spine-Health menu bar

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    Treatment List of treatments to the conditions identified by Spine-Health.
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    Spine-Health Forums These are the forums you will be using
    Find A Doctor This provides with a method to search for doctors in various locations.
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    Health Videos Index to all Spine-Health Videos

    As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here you can meet thousands of people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family[/u] who provide comfort and the advantages of a support system. You are now part of this family that is approximately 27,00 international members and growing daily.


    - It is very important to understand the Forum Rules to make sure all of your posts[u] do not violate any of the rules.[/u]

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    I am positive any member, new or old will find this Chroinc Pain - Step by Step thread very valuable.

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • You can start with the labor department in your area. Almost all labor departments have programs that offer job retraining and even can assist you with enrolling in classes and college programs to assist you in finding a new career.
    Give them a call.
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