American College of Physicians issues new treatment guidelines for individuals with nonradicular low back pain.
The New York Times posted an interesting article about new treatment recommendations for patients suffering from nonradicular low back pain. It follows guidelines published by the American College of Physicians suggesting alternative therapies like exercise, acupuncture, massage therapy or yoga.
Doctors are encouraged to use anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants before prescribing opioid painkillers. It has also been suggested that MRI scan results can be misleading showing what looks like abnormalities but are not actually related to the pain.
We found this article fascinating because acute low back pain is probably the most common problem under workers’ compensation. Employees get hurt on-the-job and they are looking for answers. Doctors selected by the employer or insurance company make all the decisions about medical care and work restrictions.
We hope insurance companies follow these new guidelines and start offering alternative therapies. Unfortunately, many of our clients are denied basic medical care for no good reason. This creates unnecessary litigation and prolongs suffering.
Michigan law allows an employee to choose his or her own doctor after 28 days. All reasonable and necessary medical treatment should be paid under workers’ compensation. We tell our clients to select their own doctor and get the best medical care available. It is also important to have a doctor on their side who will support the claim if the insurance company files a dispute.
These new guidelines do not include people who are experiencing radiating pain. This is called radiculopathy and it typically occurs when there is some nerve impingement. Pain symptoms can interfere with daily living and prevent an employee from carrying out essential job functions. Surgery may be required and rehabilitation can take months or even years.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by FootMassagez.