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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Herniated disc and workers comp

 shannonb5 - Thu May 08, 2008 10:27 am


I am 32 years old, M in very good physical condition. I don't smoke, drink or use drugs. In December of last year I woke up to look at the alarm clock. I felt my neck crack and it followed by a couple of weeks of stiff neck. I used ibuprofen to releve pain and inflammation. Then in early Jan I developed sudden and more sever stiff neck with pain down my right arm and numbness in my first two fingertips. I was sent to the dr by my employer. Was initially treated with toradol and sklaxin. No relief. I had an MRI done that shows a herniated disk at c6. I was then sent to a pain dr that did a steriod shot in my neck. It worked wonders! Virtually pain free with most of my strength returning to my arm. This whole process took about 5 weeks. The pain dr said I may need a shot 2-3 times a year to remain pain free.

Now fast forward 5 months... I was working yesterday and while I was lifting a 30lb panel shoulder height, I turned my head to look at the machine and I felt cracking and instant pain in the same spot. Back to the work comp dr I go. He does not think that it is the herniated disc, only pulled muscle. I am having same symptoms as before, pain in neck and scapula with pain radiating down right arm and numbness in right index finger. With some swelling last night in the area that is hurt. I am using toradol and sklaxin again with very little relief. I did have some left over norco and flexeril that the pain dr had given me that I took at bed time last night with more relief. DR says herniated disc pain comes on slowly and does'nt just happen all the sudden. I really feel that I need to be sent back to the pain dr for a follow up and possiblly another shot, however the work comp dr is saying 4-6 weeks of conservative tx first.

I don't know if I am getting the care I deserve and I really don't want to go through 6 weeks of pain when I could possibly get the steroid shot and get relief. Would really just like your opinion about treatment on an injury of this sort. Should I wait it out conservativly or push to see the pain dr?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:15 pm

User avatar While I'm inclined to agree with you about moving on to the pain management specialist, work comp can be very difficult, depending on the area where you live and/or work. They are pretty much in the driver's seat when it comes to medical decisions, as they will approve (or not) what you'd like to have done, and are, of course, looking at the bottom line, as they are insurers and the doctors can't really force the issue as they ought to be able to do.

Hopefully by now something has happened to get you the pain management you seek, especially since the steroid injection probably would once again work wonders. Good luck with this!

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