Back and neck pain can be seriously painful and disabling conditions. Often they are the result of injuries that cause degenerative disc or degenerative joint disease. When degenerative disc or joint disease results from an occupational injury or illness, the worker may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits under South Carolina law.
Degenerative disc or joint disease may be caused by a sudden traumatic injury or by performing the same tasks over and over for a long period of time. When the same joints move repeatedly in the same manner hour after hour, day after day, they may simply wear out.
Joye Law Firm can help you secure the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve because of degenerative disc or degenerative joint disease related to a workplace injury.
Call Joye Law Firm now or use our online contact form to set up a free meeting about your workers’ comp claim for degenerative disc or joint disease.
Understanding Degenerative Disc and Joint Disease
The discs between the bones (vertebrae) of the spinal column are sacs of soft tissue that serve as shock absorbers to allow the spine to bend and twist. In other joints, tissue known as cartilage serves this purpose. When discs or cartilage are damaged, they become inflamed, which is painful and makes it harder to move the affected joints.
Degenerative joint disease is also sometimes referred to as osteoarthritis, which is known as the “wear and tear” arthritis.
Degenerative disc or joint disease occurs naturally as people age, but it can be exacerbated by injury or overuse. A sudden injury in a fall, for example, can cause a ruptured disc, which can start the degeneration process. Repeated stress to the back or certain joints, such as shoulders and knees, from lifting, pushing, pulling, bending, stooping, etc., can also damage cartilage.
As cushioning from spinal discs is lost, the body produces bone spurs, which put pressure on the spinal cord and adjacent nerve roots, resulting in pain. As cartilage around joints deteriorates, tendons and ligaments stretch, which is painful. Eventually the bones can rub against each other, causing more pain and decreasing mobility.
Symptoms of degenerative disc or joint disease include:
- Joint or back ache and soreness, especially with movement
- Pain after overuse
- Stiffness and pain after periods of inactivity
- Bony enlargements in the middle and end joints of the fingers (which may be painful)
- Joint swelling
Treatment options for degenerative disc or joint disease are aimed at managing pain. They include:
- Medication, possibly including injection of medications into the joint
- Hot and cold compresses
- Muscle-strengthening exercises
- Removal of joint fluid to decrease pressure on nerves
- Use of supportive devices, such as crutches or canes
In many cases the pain is severe enough to be disabling. Since this is a degenerative disease, the pain and the reduced mobility often get worse, especially if there is repeated trauma to the joint, such as from overuse because of job duties.
If your degenerative disc or joint disease was caused by a job-related accident or your job duties, it may be covered by South Carolina workers’ compensation laws. You may be able to obtain workers’ comp to pay for all necessary medical treatment, including physical therapy and assistive devices, as well as a portion of your lost pay.
But workers’ compensation is a complicated system, and employers can and do contest claims. Many injured workers do not get the benefit settlements they deserve. That’s why we encourage anyone suffering from work-related degenerative disc or joint disease to talk with an experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.
Discuss Your Workers’ Comp Claim With a Lawyer Today
Experience counts when choosing a lawyer to assist you with a workers’ compensation claim for degenerative disc or joint disease. Our workers’ compensation litigation team at Joye Law Firm has nearly 250 years of combined experience representing injured people in South Carolina.
Just Call Joye Law Firm
Make a call to us now or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation with one of our workers’ compensation attorneys. There is no charge for the claim review and no strings attached.