Degenerative Disc Disease
Back injuries, including degenerative disc disease, can be some of the most debilitating injuries. While the vertebral discs degenerate naturally over time, certain physically demanding jobs can speed up this process. If you suffered degenerative disc disease as a result of your employment, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, establishing a link between your degenerative disc disease and your employment can be challenging. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers help connect injured workers with the medical benefits and disability benefits they need to address their conditions and continue living their lives.What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative disc disease, or DDD, is a common disorder that affects the cushion-like discs that rest between the bones of your spine. As humans age, our vertebral discs begin to lose their moisture content. This causes them to “shrink,” which means they don’t absorb normal, everyday shocks associated with walking, running, and, of course, working. Over time, this can result in severe pain. Degenerative disc disease is diagnosed when someone begins to suffer pain related to the condition of their vertebral discs.
While the discs in your spine degenerate naturally over time, injuries and certain activities can exacerbate this process. For example, any job that requires you frequently lift heavy objects, spend long periods of time sitting or standing, or is physically demanding can cause your discs to degenerate at a more rapid pace. For example, a warehouse worker who loads and unloads heavy objects on a daily basis is at greater risk of developing degenerative disc disease.
The symptoms of degenerative disc disease include:
- Pain when bending, twisting, or lifting a heavy object;
- The feeling like your back is going to “give out”;
- Radiating pain;
- Limited ability to make certain movements; and
- Pain that increases when sitting or standing for long periods of time.
As many as five percent of people in the United States will experience degenerative disc disease at some point in their life. However, many people suffer through the pain, relying on over-the-counter medications, stretching, and hold/cold therapy. While this may work to relieve the pain, unfortunately, these treatment options only mask the underlying condition. However, doctors have determined ways to successfully treat many cases of degenerative disc disease. Most often, this involves an intensive course of physical therapy, medication, and in more severe situations, surgery or radiofrequency neurotomy (burning the sensory nerves that send pain signals to the brain).Can You Get Workers’ Compensation for Degenerative Disc Disease in North Carolina?
North Carolina workers’ compensation laws allow for employees who develop degenerative disc disease and other occupational diseases as a result of their employment to obtain benefits. However, as with all workers’ comp claims, you must first establish that your condition was related to your work. For cases of degenerative disc disease, this can be challenging, as it is a naturally occurring condition that happens to everyone as they age. However, a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer can help identify evidence that your job contributed to or exacerbated your degenerative disc disease.Are You Seeking Workers’ Compensation Benefits for a Case of Degenerative Disc Disease?
If you were recently diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and wonder if your employment played a role in your diagnosis, reach out to the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, to schedule a free consultation. We have highly experienced workers’ compensation lawyers standing by, waiting to answer your questions and help you determine if you are eligible for workers’ comp benefits. We take all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t be responsible for any legal fees unless we can connect you with benefits. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach one of our Concord workers’ compensation lawyers at 704-918-4747.