Blog - You've hurt your back or neck at work. What should you do next?

You've hurt your back or neck at work. What should you do next?

Having a work injury is a stressful time.  It's important to know the right steps to take to make sure you can have your injury treated so you can recover and get back to work (and normal life) as quickly as possible.

  • See your General Practitioner
  • Lodge a Workers Compensation claim
  • Have the necessary investigations
  • Undergo physical therapy if appropriate
  • Consultation with Dr Moloney/surgery if necessary

The first thing you need to do is to see your General Practitioner so they can examine you and work out exactly what the problem is.  It is also important to have the injury recorded.  So as well as obtaining treatment this is helpful from the point of view of your workers compensation claim and knowing exactly when the injury happened.  If you wait too long things can get a lot more complicated.

You will also need to lodge a Workers Compensation claim with your employer.  There will be forms to be filled in and you will need to see your General Practitioner again.

Your General Practitioner will probably organise some tests to try and diagnose the actual problem.  You will need approval from the Workers Compensation insurance company for any tests so the sooner the tests are requested the sooner the approval will come back.

Your General Practitioner may send you for some physical therapy once he or she ascertains the extent of your injury.

If you have tried all of the conservative therapies your General Practitioner has suggested and are still having problems it may be time to see a surgeon.

Call to make an appointment with Dr Moloney.  You will need to obtain approval from the insurance company before your appointment. 

When you come to your appointment with Dr Moloney you will need to bring a referral letter from your General Practitoner and all scans and investigations that you have had relating to your injury.  Dr Moloney may recommend further investigations to diagnose your problem.  These will also have to be approved by the insurance company.

Dr Moloney will see you again with the results of your investigations and he will then be able to discuss your options.  If surgery is the direction you decide to take then approval will need to be sought from the Workers Compensation insurance company. 

The insurance company will more than likely send you for Independent Medical Examination to assess your condition before approving various things.  The best thing to do here is to co-operate and hopefully that will speed up the process.

The Workers Compensation process can be a slow and frustrating one.  Dr Moloney and his staff will do their very best to chase up your insurance company and obtain your approvals as quickly as possible for any necessary treatment.  Unfortunately, things aren't always in our control especially when it comes to obtaining timely approvals for treatment but we will do everything possible to hurry things along.

Dr Moloney's office can be contacted at any time if you have any questions about where things are up to with your treatment.  We are always happy to help.

Common Injuries

A common injury is a lifting and twisting injury.  A lot of people will be moving boxes at work and will lift up the box and twist as they are setting the box down.  The patient will then notice a sharp pain in their back which will not settle down with rest and anti inflammatory medication alone.

Sometimes injection therapy can help in the form of a cortisone injection and sometimes surgery will be needed to correct the problem and get the patient back to work.  Dr Moloney likes to try injection therapy first as it is a lot less invasive.  Surgery is usually the last option for patients who have tried all of the conservative modalities of treatment with no success.  Depending on the exact pathology the patient is suffering from various operations can be performed.  Some of these include posterior lumbar interbody fusion with postero lateral fusion, partial discectomy, artificial disc replacement and anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF).

Another common work injury can be carpal tunnel syndrome which isn't an actual incident.  It is an injury caused by the nature and conditions of the patient's employent over a period of time.  A nerve conduction study needs to be undertaken to determine whether the patient is indeed suffering with carpal tunnel syndrome.  If carpal tunnel syndrome is confirmed Dr Moloney can perofrm a carpal tunnel release which frees up the nerves allowing them to heal and most importnatly eases the patients pain and symptoms. 

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Sydney

Tel (02) 9499 4984
5 Lord Street
Roseville NSW 2069

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Wollongong

Tel (02) 4228 0460
Level 5, 85 Smith Street
Wollongong NSW 2500

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Bowral

Tel (02) 4228 0460
21 St Judes Street
Bowral NSW 2576

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Goulburn

Tel (02) 4228 0460
5 Fenwick Crescent
Goulburn NSW 2580

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