Degenerative Disc / Joint Disease

woman expresses back pain due to degenerative disc disease

If you have pain or difficulty moving your back, neck, knees, hands, shoulders or hips, it may be due to age or it may have been caused by your job or working conditions. Many men and women who have performed the same physical tasks over many years of work find they increasingly suffer pain, stiffness, limited range of motion and loss of flexibility. These may be symptoms of degenerative disc or degenerative joint disease.

When a worker develops degenerative disc or degenerative joint disease because of his or her job duties and the symptoms become disabling or require medical care, the injured individual may have a right to assistance through workers’ compensation insurance. North Carolina law requires most businesses to provide workers’ comp benefits to injured employees who have work-related injuries or illness.

The workers’ compensation lawyers at Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik, P.A., have helped many North Carolina workers recover full and fair compensation for injuries in a workplace accident or from a lifetime of job-related wear and tear. If you have been diagnosed with degenerative disc or degenerative joint disease that may be related to your job and you are having difficulty obtaining workers’ compensation benefits, please contact our attorneys to discuss your options.

Two of our firm’s partners – attorneys Chip Younce and David E. Vtipil – are Board-Certified Specialists in Workers’ Compensation Law. We have been standing up for the rights of injured workers in North Carolina for decades.

Our dedicated legal team has earned a reputation for:

  • Compassionate legal services. We treat clients with respect and compassion. We are here to guide you through the workers’ compensation appeals process and are ready to answer any questions you have.
  • Our accommodating approach to client service. When joint pain, back pain or other injuries make it tough for you to get around, our team is ready to come to you. We can meet with you at a location convenient to you, including your home, hospital, or rehabilitation center. Staff members at Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik, P.A., speak English and Spanish.
  • Attention to Detail. We provide hands-on care and personal attention for each workers’ comp claim, from start to finish. Our law firm has invested in a state-of-the-art case tracking system so your claim will move forward smoothly. You can focus on your recovery while we take care of legal issues for you.

Let’s start with a free legal consultation about your potential workers’ compensation claim. A degenerative disc workers’ compensation attorney will review the circumstances of your disease and tell you how we see a claim for workers’ compensation benefits moving forward. Even if you decide not to hire us to represent you, you will have a better understanding of your eligibility for workers’ compensation and what it will take to obtain benefits after speaking with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney.

Contact us today, and we’ll set up a no-obligation meeting for a free claim review and free legal advice.

What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Have you been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease? It is one of the most common causes of neck or lower back pain. Almost everyone will experience some form of degenerative disc disease as they age. It causes chronic pain that varies greatly from person to person.

Most people live with the pain of degenerative disc disease and treat it with over-the-counter pain medication and/or exercises that strengthen muscles to compensate for the weakened discs. But when back or neck pain caused by wear and tear on spinal discs keeps you from working or performing daily tasks, degenerative disc disease becomes a real issue.

Spinal discs are cartilaginous joints that cushion and hold the vertebrae of the spine together and allow movement of the back and neck. Degenerative disc disease is diagnosed when wear and tear on one or more spinal discs causes pain, instability or other symptoms, such as:

  • Increased pain when bending or twisting the back or lifting something heavy.
  • Radiating pain that feels sharp, stabbing or hot. Cervical disc degeneration causes pain in the shoulder, arm, or hand. Lower back disc degeneration can cause pain in the hips, buttocks, or down the back of the leg.
  • A creakiness or “giving out” sensation of spinal instability.
  • Back or neck “locking up” and making movement difficult.
  • Increased back pain from sitting or standing for extended periods, or neck pain from looking down too long at a cell phone or book.

What is Degenerative Joint Disease?

Degenerative joint disease is caused by wear and tear on the cartilage that serves to cushion bones in the body’s joints. If you have been diagnosed with degenerative joint disease, it may have been called “osteoarthritis” or “OA.” It causes pain, stiffness and limited range of motion as the cartilage becomes damaged.

About half of adults over age 65 have some level of osteoarthritis, which is most commonly felt in the knees, hands, shoulders, hips, and spine. There are some medical disorders that can cause degenerative joint disease, including infection, rheumatoid arthritis and muscular dystrophy, but usually it is caused by chronic repetitive motion.

Many people deal with the pain of degenerative joint disease through over-the-counter or prescribed pain medication, such as aspirin, opioids, or corticosteroid injections.

Serious cases of degenerative joint disease may eventually cause swelling and deformed joints, leading to loss of mobility and, ultimately, weight gain and associated complications. When joint pain caused by wear and tear prevents working for a living or performing daily tasks of living, degenerative joint disease is considered disabling.

Did My Job Contribute to Degenerative Disc or Joint Disease?

Injuries or disorders of the spinal discs, joints, cartilage, muscles, nerves and tendons are known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor defines MSDs as musculoskeletal system and connective tissue diseases and disorders that occurred due to an event that involved:

  • Overexertion involving lifting, pushing, pulling and other actions involving objects.
  • Overexertion, including assuming an unnatural position for a prolonged period of time.
  • Repetitive motion involving microtasks such as assembly line work, typing, data entry.
  • Having been rubbed, abraded, or jarred by vibration.

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders result from conditions in which:

  • The work environment and performance of work contribute significantly to the condition, or
  • The condition is made worse or persists longer due to work conditions.

Work conditions are often found to be a factor in musculoskeletal disorders of the neck, back, shoulder, elbow, hand and wrist, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Examples of work conditions that may lead to MSDs include:

  • Routine lifting of heavy objects.
  • Daily exposure to whole body vibration.
  • Routine overhead work requiring reaching above the head.
  • Work with the neck in chronic flexion (forward-bending) position.
  • Performing repetitive forceful tasks.

Do you recognize the work you do for a living in the descriptions above? If you do and you have been diagnosed with degenerative disc or joint disease or another musculoskeletal disorder you think is job-related, the workers’ compensation attorneys of Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik, P.A., are ready to assist you. You may be entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits.

How Can A Raleigh Degenerative Disc / Joint Disease Lawyer Help Me?

If your degenerative disc or joint disease is primarily work-related, you should receive workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, obtaining workers’ comp benefits is not always a straight-forward process. Employers and their workers’ compensation insurance administrators may try to dispute valid claims.

Our degenerative disc / joint disease attorneys have extensive experience navigating the North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system. We will put our knowledge and skills to work for you as we pursue your workplace injury claim.

Our attorneys can:

  • Compile medical records and other documents to show the cause and extent of your musculoskeletal disorder and relation to your work
  • File a claim for benefits that meets the requirements of the North Carolina Industrial Commission
  • Petition to change your doctor if it suits your needs better and the insurance company has refused your request
  • Determine whether a workers’ comp settlement is appropriate, including how the terms of the settlement may affect potential future benefits
  • Appeal a workers’ compensation decision if your initial application for benefits has been denied or you were awarded less than you deserve
  • Protect you from employer reprisal if filing a workers’ comp claim subjects you to retaliation — which is illegal.

At Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik, P.A., our Raleigh degenerative disc / degenerative joint disease lawyers are dedicated to providing personalized legal representation to each client we serve. You’ll know what to expect as we do all the legwork for your workers’ comp claim. We want you to be able to focus on dealing with your injury.

Contact Our Raleigh Degenerative Disc Disease Law Firm Today

Your employer may not be on your side when a workplace injury leads to a workers’ compensation claim. Because workers’ comp claims cost them higher insurance premiums, they may suggest using your health insurance or taking sick days/vacation time to heal.

If your degenerative disc or joint disorder was caused by your job duties and it prevents you from working or limits the type of work you can do, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Talk to our dedicated Raleigh degenerative disc/joint disease lawyers about your options. Our board-certified workers’ comp attorneys understand how insurers fight workers’ comp claims, and we can appeal a denied claim or improper settlement.

Set up a free, no-obligation consultation with our workplace injury lawyers today. We can get your claim started at no cost to you. In fact, you will not owe us a cent unless and until we recover money for you. Call now.