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  • Vancouver
    Member
    Post count: 5

    2 months ago I hurt my back at work. I am a stucco plasterer. I apply cement to exterior walls 8 hours a day 5 days a week. The required motion of applying the mud forces me into a stooped posture at all times, as well as my height of 6ft 3 and then my hard hat and boots adding to my height also forces me to stoop when on scaffolding with a scaffold deck above my head. I apply the cement with my right hand using a trowel, arms extended out 12 or more inches and reaching as high and low as I can to the wall before moving down the scaffold. I do more than 10 lifts a minute in this posture and while spreading with my right I am holding 10 or more pounds of mud in my left hand with my tool called a hawk and therefore am lifting that as well especially when stooping low. I also bend further and further to reach into the bucket the mud is in to begin with. At the time of injury it was cold out, feb 10 in Canada. I was doing a high pace repetitive task at a speed 4 times faster than normal because we were skimming the wall. I was at the end of a 390sq foot wall and stooped right over applying to the bottom part of the wall. As I stood up I felt intense pain 9 out of 10. And have been in constant pain since, couldn’t even talk for 2 weeks without pain and have lately begun getting intense pains in my calves my buttocks my thighs and feet as well as my whole back. I have been for an MRI and am waiting for the results, after the long weekend. Workers compensations doctor claims that my work activities are not injurious, that there light duty, and that I was not doing anything heavy or awkward or outside of my range of motion and therefore was denied benefits. I need the compensation so I can afford the physio or whatever I need. And so I can contribute for my family again. I am 26 years old and shouldn’t be having back problems already. What I want is an expert opinion on wether my work activities as a stucco plasterer would have caused my back injury and wether or not the incident on gen 10 would be significant in causing an injury. The medical adviser noted to that I hadn’t been working long enough that day to cause the Injury. Even though I spread 390 sq ft in 40 mins. Any head ice would be greatly appreciated thank you so much and I really find this site informative. Keep up the good positive work!!

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8371

    Thank you for the description of your occupation. I think your description is one of the best mechanical discussions of the day to day loading that your spine is exposed to that I have the privilege of seeing.

    You perform repetitive bending with twisting and load (BLT- see website) to the lumbar spine on a minute to minute basis while working. This will contribute to annular stress and tears. The pain in your legs could be an indication of a herniated disc compressing the nerves in the canal.

    You workman’s compensation doctor is incorrect. This activity is outside of non-work related normal day to day activities and in my opinion is obviously work related.

    The advisor stating that you “hadn’t worked long enough” has no basis in science. Tears or herniation can occur on the first bend or on the hundredth.

    I, of course cannot directly interject my comments in a workman’s compensation case in Canada but I would assume that there are level headed specialists in Canada who could chime in.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    Vancouver
    Member
    Post count: 5

    I looked for an article for bending while twisting with a load in your website and could not find it, I’m guessing this information would be really beneficial for me to read over and perhaps use as part of my appeal. Thank you for writing me back I really appreciate it. It has been really stressful being injured and not getting the compensation and treatment I deserve. Your part about the length of time and it’s relevance to my injury was nice to read because it’s exactly what I thought.

    It’s nice to know there are people out there fhat care.

    The med advisor said, I do not see an activity that would be significant {heavy or awkward} enough particularly when performed over such a short period of time to cause a muscular tear(sprain strain) or potentially be causative of a disc protrusion (not confirmed by objective signs.) in conclusion even though the symptom onset was temporal to the activities performed. It is not likely that the activities were causative of the workers symptoms.

    Then as you said how this is scientifically wrong. I need to present that when I appeal so that it’s obvious that is an untrue statement. Again thanks for writing back to me any further help would be massive!!

    Thanks.
    Paul

    Donald Corenman
    Keymaster
    Post count: 52

    Hi,

    These videos are what Dr. Corenman is referring to for advice on bending and lifting. Hope they help.

    https://neckandback.com/videos/how-to-prevent-back-injuries

    Best,

    NeckandBack Admin

    Vancouver
    Member
    Post count: 5

    Thanks again for writing me back, I received the results from my MRI and my family doctor says that the injury can definately be related to what I was doing. Unfortunately the injury is worse than the doctor had suspected and I was given two options. Cortisone shots or surgery. My doctor suggested I try the shots first and hopefully the swelling of the disc goes down and stops pinching the nerve. I’m getting mixed opinions on the cortisone shots.

    I don’t want to seem like I’m asking to much but is there a chance I could send my MRI results to you and get a descriptive response on how the work activity as I described it could directly relate to the injury. I hope I’m not asking to much.

    Thanks for reading,
    Take care
    Paul B

    Vancouver
    Member
    Post count: 5

    Thank you again for responding to my last message. I received the results from my MRI and my doctor gave me 2 options cortisone shots or surgery and suggests I try the cortisone shots first. He said that the MRI results can be directly related to the work activity I described. In wondering if I can send a picture of my MRI results to you and get an answer to how my work activity as a stucco plasterer could be directly related to the injury as described on the MRI result.

    I feel like if I can make some kind of difference and help someone else in the same situation sometime in the future by winning my appeal and setting a standard and understanding of the work motions of a stucco plasterer, which are very high in risk for back injury when examined then all though these are hard times without the compensation and benefits I deserve at least I will have helped someone else avoid this situation im in.

    Thanks
    Paul

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