For Lower Back Pain, RX Painkillers May Not Be Worth The Risk

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Our workers' compensation clients are often very familiar with spine and joint pain. We represent a lot of hard-working people who rely on their physical health to do their jobs as foremen, construction workers, plumbers, building managers, etc. It is essential that they preserve their health over the long haul.

Our clients often have to make the challenging decisions about their health care after a serious work injury. They have to measure the benefits and detriments of using prescription painkillers versus trying to work out their pain with anti-inflammatories, heating pads, epidural injections, trigger-point injections, acupuncture, topical compound creams, and other types of pain relief. Many clients have to decide whether or not surgery is the best option for them to treet their torn rotator cuffs, back and neck injuries, or knee injuries.

According to an article on NPR Health, doctors are referring patients to use prescription pain medications at the rate of up to 40 percent over other types of pain relief. In addition, doctors are prescribing "other" at a rate of 36.6. percent; which "includes heat, back brace, other alternative medicine procedures, rest, and nothing." This leaves only 23.4 percent for exercise, physical therapy, massage, steriods, over-the-counter meds, and surgery, combined. 

For our clients, sometimes opioids are part of the equation. Some are in so much pain that nothing else works. However, the chronic use of painkillers does carry with it some well-known and serious risks of addiction.  If an injured worker becomes addicted to pain medication, that medical treatment and rehab should be covered by workers' compensation.  So if you're facing serious medical issues or conflicting medical advice about your work injury, try to do your research and find out the risks involved with any type of pain management or other treatment. We'll be by your side, and let you know what we know about the treatments.

Have you been seriously injured and are being confronted for the first time with serious medical issues, like pain management options? We work with your doctors all over DC, Maryland and Virgnia to help you get the best medical care for your injury.  And we will keep calling the adjuster and getting your treatment authorized and paid for so you don't have to worry about an interruption in treatment. If the insurance company is denying treatment without just cause, we will request a hearing. We know all the tricks in advance, and are on your side, plain and simple.

If you have questions about the workers' compensation process and your treatment, please feel free to give us a call at 202-393-3320. You will speak with a live person who will get your information immediately. We also have books, guides and reports on workers' compensation that we give away; free with no obligation to injured workers and their families (but not to insurance company employees). You can find our full list of books and reports here.

Frank R. Kearney, Attorney-at-Law
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Experienced DC Workers' Comp, Long Term Disability & Accident Lawyer