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Spondylosis in Workers’ Compensation

It is certainly not uncommon to see spondylosis in a workers’ compensation case, but these cases can get very complicated very quickly. Because these cases often do not have a trauma event that causes spondylosis, you should consult an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer immediately if you think you have spondylosis from work.

Spondylosis is the medical term for the wear and tear to the spine. Also called Cervical Spondylosis or Cervical Osteoarthritis, this common ailment usually occurs as a result of repetitive, strenuous movements or old age, and is a form of arthritis. The Mayo Clinic, an online website that provides official medical information, claims that more than 85% of individuals older than the age of 60 develop Spondylosis.

Symptoms

Generally, Spondylosis symptoms seem like common issues, however, they could be generated from this arthritic condition. People suffering from Spondylosis may experience:

  • Pain and stiffness in the neck
  • Headaches
  • Shoulder or arm pain
  • Inability or struggle to rotate or bend the neck

In certain cases, Cervical Spondylosis can cause the spinal cord or nerves to become pinched. As a result, it is possible to experience lack of coordination, loss of bladder and bowel control, and numbness or weakness in the arms, legs, hands, and feet. Also, it is possible to develop Myelopathy in addition to Spondylosis. If Cervical Spondylosis causes pressure on the spinal cord, Myelopathy can occur. When both conditions exist, patients can report normal symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis, as well as abnormal reflexes and muscle spasms.

Some people have also reported that they contracted Cervical Radiculopathy while having Spondylosis. Cervical Radiculopathy is diagnosed when nerves along the top seven vertebrae of the spine do not work properly. As a result, the compression of nerves in the spine causes severe pain that may spread to other parts of the body.

Causes and Risks

This type of arthritis occurs when discs and joints degenerate or when bone spurs form on the vertebrae. Bone spurs are described as disc degenerations that result in the spine producing a plentiful amount of bone formations in an attempt to support the spine. Sometimes, both occurrences lead to Spondylosis. It has also been reported that dehydrated discs, herniated discs, and stiff ligaments have contributed to developing this condition.

There are some risks included with Spondylosis, as well. As previously mentioned, age is a primary influencer for this condition. Also, one’s occupation can influence the occurrence of Spondylosis. For example, jobs that require a lot of psychical activity, such as constant and repetitive neck movements or lifting above the head can worsen the symptoms of Spondylosis. Previous injuries to the neck area can also increase the possibility of Spondylosis. It has also been found that genetic factors and smoking are risk factors for Cervical Spondylosis.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Medical officials can diagnosis Spondylosis by conducting multiple techniques and examinations. Along with questioning a patient’s medical history, doctors can conduct a physical exam to test reflexes, coordination, and any movement difficulties. It is possible to use imaging exams to view the affected area, such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT). Based on the condition, doctors may recommend patients to see a Neurologist.

Treatments for Spondylosis are typically easily accessible. Potential methods that can provide relief for people include:

  • Rest
  • Wearing a cervical collar to restrict movement and supply support
  • A prescription of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other non-narcotics by a medical doctor or official to relieve pain from inflammation
  • Forms of physical therapy, such as heat and cold therapy, traction, or exercising
  • Epidural steroid injections or cervical facet joint injects given by a medical official into the affected joints or area surrounding the spine
Workers’ Compensation Cases

In the case that Spondylosis occurs as a result of work, individuals can file for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Since Cervical Spondylosis can cause painful symptoms, workers may be unable to move efficiently and attend work. In this scenario, people may able to able to receive payments for loss of wages. However, the amount of benefits that a person can receive depends on the severity on their condition and how it affects their ability to work and function efficiently.

Because spondylosis does not happen all at once, but rather over time, workers’ compensation insurers will often deny and fight these claims under the argument that the wear and tear on the spine was not at work, but rather in some other part of the claimant’s life. You need someone experienced in these spondylosis workers’ compensation cases in order to be successful.

It is common that applications can be denied benefits. As a result, it is important to be informed about potential benefits. Our licensed team of attorneys at O’Connor Law specialize in Workers’ Compensation cases and are ready to help you receive the rightful benefits that you deserve.

If you need help filing a claim or an appeal for Worker’s Compensation or want to learn more about benefits that you may be entitled to, contact and call our office at 800-518-4529 for more information.

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