Archive for the ‘Back Injuries’ Category

Hospitals Fail to Protect Nurses from Injuries

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You probably don’t think of nursing as a dangerous profession.

But each year, more than 35,000 nurses, orderlies and nurses assistants suffer back and arm injuries that are serious enough that they have to miss work, according to surveys from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

A recent NPR series found that nursing employees “suffer roughly three times the rate of back and other musculoskeletal injuries as construction laborers,” all in the course of their everyday job duties — lifting and moving patients.

These are not minor injuries, but life changing ones that may require multiple surgeries and a cocktail of prescription drugs and pain medications. Many injured nurses lose their careers because of their injuries and will endure chronic pain and mobility issues for the rest of their lives.

Research has shown that there’s no safe way for nurses to move patients manually without risking serious injury to themselves. 

“The bottom line is, there’s no safe way to lift a patient manually,” William Marras, director of The Ohio State University’s Spine Research Institute, which has conducted landmark studies on the issue, told NPR “The magnitude of these forces that are on your spine are so large that the best body mechanics in the world are not going to keep you from getting a back problem.”

Yet hospitals continue to stress the same safe patient handling techniques and protocols when there’s a better solution that would prevent a majority of back and arm injuries in nurses. There is equipment available to help nurses move patients safely, without risk of injury, but few hospitals are wiling to invest money in these lifts, hoists and other devices, NPR found.

And only 10 states have comprehensive programs specifically designed to protect nursing staff at hospitals. North Carolina is not one of them.


 One of the nurses profiled in the NPR series worked at Asheville’s Mission Hospital. Though her injury clearly happened on the job, the hospital tried to deny her workers’ compensation benefits by claiming it happened while she was at home. You can listen to that story here

Listen to the full NPR series about nurses and workplace injuries here.

Treating Injured Workers: Chiropractic care may be covered

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We round up our series of tips for healthcare professionals treating injured workers with some information about chiropractic care and mileage reimbursement.

  • Injured workers who must travel 20 miles or more roundtrip for medical care are entitled to collect $0.55 per mile. Special consideration also is given to employees who are totally disabled.
  • Chiropractic treatment is allowed for workers’ compensation patients, if the employer or the employer’s insurance company grants permission. As many as 20 visits are allowed, if medically necessary. If additional visits are needed, the chiropractor should request this authorization from the Industrial Commission.

If youv’e missed any of the previous tips, find them here.



Recovering From Back Surgery May Take Longer Than You Think

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After suffering from pain for weeks or months after an injury from a car or a work-related accident, many people look forward to the relief from pain that back surgery will provide. Being able to return to normal, everyday activities, such as lifting a box, driving a car, or sitting or standing for long periods of time, without pain is the goal of most back surgery.

However, many people are surprised that post-surgery, the pain doesn’t subside as quickly as they would like and that the return back to normal life doesn’t happen automatically.


Back Health: More surgeries for treating back pain, back injuries

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In our last installment of the Deuterman Law Group’s Back Health blog series, we highlighted some of the commonsurgeries for treating back injuries. Those included laminectomy, discectomy and IDET.

Today, we take up where we left off with a discussion of other surgical treatments for back pain, namely spinal fusion, artifical disc replacement and radio frequency ablation.


Back Health: Common Surgeries For Treating Back Pain, Back Injuries

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While many back injuries can be treated with rest, physical therapy and/or anti-inflammatory medication, some injuries are best treated with back surgery.

The prospect of back surgery can be frightening and confusing, to be sure. Surgery and other treatments may involve risks and complications and require extended recovery time. In this installment of the Deuterman Law Group’s Back Health blog series, we hope to alleviate some of those concerns by explaining what happens in the various back surgery procedures.

If you’re wondering what you’ll experience during and after your surgery, be sure to educate yourself by talking with your doctor, ask lots of questions and consult other resources, such as the Web sites we refer to in this blog entry.

Remember, thousands of people undergo back surgery each year, and advancements in the field of back health now provide a range of treatment options including inpatient surgery and outpatient procedures.

We’ll explain a few here:


Back Health: Understanding back sprains, soft-tissue injuries, bulging discs and herniated discs

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Oh my aching back!

I don’t know a single person who hasn’t uttered that phrase at some point in life.

So you know that a back injury can be extremely painful. It can happen – snap your fingers – just like that. And when you injure your back, it can stop you in your tracks – prevent you from working, limit your movements, make sleep difficult, make walking difficult, make surviving daily life difficult.

In the first installment of the Deuterman Law Group’s Back Health series, we talked about the anatomy of the spine and the types of pain you might experience as the result of a back injury.

Today, we’re focusing on the most common types of back injuries — sprains, soft-tissue injuries, bulging discs and herniated discs – and the typical course of treatment for each.


Your Guide to Back Health and Back Injuries

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Many people throughout their lives will suffer from back pain, resulting from a variety of causes and injuries.

Understanding the medical terminology doctors use in diagnosing and treating the causes of back pain can be confusing. While its always your right to ask your doctor for clarification, some patients may not feel comfortable asking a busy physician to take more time to explain things in simpler terms.

This series of blogs, entitled Back Health, is designed for injured people seeking more information about common back injuries, including symptoms and treatments. And we’ve attempted to explain things in simple terms, so you won’t need a medical degree to understand what’s going on with your back.

Read on for the first installment in our Back Health Series. This one focuses on the anatomy of the spine.

Please remember, this information is for educational purposes only. If you are suffering from back pain, please consult a doctor. Do not try to treat yourself.


Recovering from a back injury

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Associated Press reporter Andrew Welsh-Huggins writes about his experiences with a back injury and his successful — though lengthy — recovery.

It’s an interesting article that shows just how debilitating back injuries can be. The writer, a distance runner, outlines his long recovery and also highlights some of the realities of back injuries:

  • The most common type of pain reported by adults in the United States, with more than one in four reporting some back pain lasting at least a day in the past three months. Eight of every 10 people in the United States will suffer from lower back pain at one point in their lives.
  • The most common reason injured workers file for workers’ compensation claims, accounting for about one in every five U.S. claims for workers’ compensation.
  • The leading cause of disability in the United States military.
  • The leading cause of disability in people under age 45 and the third-leading cause in people older than that, after cancer and heart problems. One study found that two of every three people aged 20 to 60 reported some type of spinal pain in a given year.
  • The leading cause of missed work time or doctor’s visits after headaches and cold symptoms.