Mechanical back pain refers to any type of back pain that is caused by placing too much stress on the back. This typically results from using poor posture, performing repetitive tasks, and using incorrect lifting techniques. Mechanical back pain is one of the most common symptom-related reasons for seeing a doctor in the United States.
Mechanical back pain may be caused by a specific traumatic event, such as a fall or an accident, but it may also be the result of cumulative trauma. Pain may worsen when certain movements of the spine are performed, and it may flare up at certain times.
A doctor may ask you to perform various movements to note your functional limitations, and if pain is present with certain movements, such as bending, twisting, or bending backwards. Imaging tests may also be performed, such as CT scans and X-rays.
In some cases, tests may uncover an underlying cause of the back pain, such as a spinal stenosis or herniated disc. However, many cases of back pain do not receive a definitive diagnosis. In these cases, conservative treatments are usually prescribed, including pain management, physical therapy to regain mobility and build strength, and ergonomic recommendations that improve posture while working. Back surgery is typically only prescribed as a last resort.
Back pain is one of the most common long-term disability claims. Insurance companies are often skeptical of claims for back pain, and these claims can be denied due to a lack of objective evidence. In other words, the insurance company wants to see evidence other than your statements that you are in pain.
This can be difficult to hear for someone who is dealing with debilitating back pain. Constant pain is interfering with your ability to work and live, but you cannot convince the insurance company that your condition is real.
Have your doctor note all of your symptoms and limitations, and be as specific as possible. Whether or not you have a definitive diagnosis, your functional limitations can vary widely. Two people with the same diagnosis can experience much different limitations. If you cannot bend, reach, stand, sit, or perform other movements without pain, have your doctor make a note of these limitations.
If your long-term disability claim for mechanical back pain has been denied, talk to a long-term disability attorney about your appeal rights.
Contact the experienced ERISA lawyers at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick if your long-term disability claim has been denied. Visit our website to learn more about disability claim denials and to download our free ERISA law guide.