Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on low back pain. This is the most common cause of job-related disability, a leading contributor to missed work, and the second most common neurological ailment (after headaches) in the U.S.
Chronic back pain, pain for greater than three months, requires diagnosis and treatment by a physician or other medical professional. Treatment may include surgery; the use of analgesics, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and opioids; and other forms of treatment designed to reduce inflammation, restore proper function and strength to the back, and prevent recurrence of the injury. Some forms of treatment are high risk such as complex surgical procedures, including spinal surgery, and may result in complications.
The cause of a patient’s chronic back pain can be difficult to diagnose, and treatment may not be effective in relieving the patient’s pain. As a result, patients suffering chronic back pain may seek compensation through the judicial system.
Attorneys, physicians, hospitals, insurers, employers, and other potential parties to litigation should be aware of the types of lawsuits and other liability issues that arise in connection with chronic back pain.