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Can I get workers' compensation for my back pain?

While this may seem like a straightforward question, the answer actually depends on a number of factors. It's miserable to have back pain, there's no doubt about that. But in order to receive workers' compensation you have to prove that your pain stems from work not from natural causes such as getting older.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than 600,000 employees a year suffer from back disorders and it is one of the leading causes of disability for individuals of working age. As the current generation ages, this number is expected to increase exponentially.

What work-related activities might cause back pain or a back injury?

The list is extensive. Too much of anything can be bad for you--sitting, standing, twisting, reaching, lifting or bending. You should also be cautious about your posture and form while doing any and all of these activities.

How do I know if I qualify for compensation?

As previously stated, you have to be able to prove that your injury or disorder stems from your job duties. If you have a preexisting condition, you don't qualify for workers' compensation.

The best way to find out not only the cause of your injury but also the extent and treatment necessary is to visit a physician and determine what's wrong. The most common back issues associated with workers' compensation are:

  • Lower back pain
  • Herniated disc
  • Fractured vertebrae
  • Pinched nerve
  • Spinal cord fracture

If you believe you might qualify, see a doctor, and get a professional opinion. Based on the results, assess whether it is in your best interest to file for workers' compensation.

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