Category / Topic Archives: Back Injuries


Low Back Pain is Leading Cause of Occupational Disability
By admin on December 23, 2015

According to the Department of Labor, low back pain accounts for one-third of all occupational mesculoskekletal injuries and illnesses resulting in work disability.  A recent article in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, December 2015,  states that two thirds of low back pain cases return to work within 1 month, but a substantial number … Continue reading Low Back Pain is Leading Cause of Occupational Disability

Mark Kabins, M.D., Orthopedic spine surgeon
By admin on August 26, 2014

 Mark Kabins, M.D. spoke to a small group of claimants’ attorneys last week to  talk about treatment of work-related spinal injuries.  Dr. Kabins, a long-time resident of Las Vegas, was a very animated and passionate speaker about  treating injuries  under workers’ compensation  claims. He is a Diplomat of both the American Board of   Orthopedic … Continue reading Mark Kabins, M.D., Orthopedic spine surgeon

Low Back Pain: Work-Related or Not?
By admin on March 9, 2014

Most people, excluding  lawyers, are likely to tell you that it is an obvious fact that strenuous activity involving load on the back in occupations with heavy lifting, twisting, bending, and carrying  will cause more back injuries.  Athletes and medical  professionals are less likely to make the injury causation assumption, and will respond that people … Continue reading Low Back Pain: Work-Related or Not?


Is Your Insurer Requiring a Psych Eval Before Authorizing Back Surgery?
By admin on June 17, 2013

There is a recent trend among insurers andtheir medical review companies to require a psychological evaluation before authorizing a low back surgery.  Neurospsychologist Louis Mortillaro, PhD is asked to do many of these evaluations for the purpose of determining whether the patient is likely to benefit from a back surgery.  Basically, the insurer doesn’t want … Continue reading Is Your Insurer Requiring a Psych Eval Before Authorizing Back Surgery?

Common Spine Surgeries for Injured Workers
By admin on May 27, 2013

 Before an injured worker undergoes a neck or back surgery, he or she should be familiar with a few medical terms and what specific procedure the surgeon is recommending.   Ask your doctor to write down the name of the surgery, and have him explain exactly what will be done.  If you or your adjuster … Continue reading Common Spine Surgeries for Injured Workers

Is Your Insurer Requiring a Psych Eval Before Authorizing Back Surgery?
By admin on May 27, 2013

 There is a recent trend among insurers and their medical review companies to require a psychological evaluation before authorizing a low back surgery.  Neurospsychologist Louis Mortillaro, PhD is asked to do many of these evaluations for the purpose of determining whether the patient is likely to benefit from a back surgery.  Basically, the insurer doesn’t … Continue reading Is Your Insurer Requiring a Psych Eval Before Authorizing Back Surgery?


Are They Calling Your Herniated Disc a Lumbar Strain?
By admin on March 22, 2013

There is a renewed trend among particular self-insured employers and third-party administrators (TPA’s) in Nevada to send a Notice of Claim Acceptance for "lumbar strain only" on  low back injury claims.  My fellow claimants’  attorneys are also noticing an increase in claims where adjusters are denying medical treatment for a herniated disc,  because the claim was accepted for … Continue reading Are They Calling Your Herniated Disc a Lumbar Strain?

Treating Pain with a Video Game
By admin on November 29, 2012

Many of my clients with very severe injuries must learn to accept that they will live with pain the rest of their lives. After they exhaust all that doctors have to offer and realize that there is no “fix”, these clients either adapt and live reasonably happy and productive lives, or they stay miserable. How … Continue reading Treating Pain with a Video Game

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
By admin on October 13, 2012

How to treat chronic pain was a topic addressed by several of the featured speakers at the WILG convention in Las Vegas this weekend.  (WILG is a non-profit organization that assists attorneys in advocating the rights of injured workers.)  Dr. Steven Simon, M.D. of the Kansas University Medical Group spoke about CRPS complex regional pain … Continue reading Complex Regional Pain Syndrome


Sexual Problems May Be Related to Spinal Cord Injury
By admin on February 10, 2012

Many injured workers with severe spinal cord injuries are reluctant to mention to their treating physician that they have had sexual dysfunction since their work accident in Nevada.  Males in particular are embarrassed to bring up this topic with their doctors.  Unless the doctor initiates the discussion and directly asks about any sexual  problems, the problem … Continue reading Sexual Problems May Be Related to Spinal Cord Injury

Prescription Drugs and Nevada Workers’ Comp Claims
By admin on September 16, 2011

Part A The NCCI is an organization that keeps statistics on work injuries in the various states.  A recently released  August 2011 NCCI Research Brief by Lipton, Laws and Li  focused on prescription costs.  According to this study,  prescription drugs are 19% of the medical costs on an average claim.   The study showed that it was not the price of drugs that was responsible … Continue reading Prescription Drugs and Nevada Workers’ Comp Claims


Delays in Getting Medical Care on Your Nevada Work Comp Claim
By admin on September 9, 2011

Delays in getting medical care authorized are the reason most injured workers contact me for help on their claim.  Here is some additional information about treatment delays and what  you can do to get proper medical care on time on your  Nevada workers’ compensation claim.   An insurer won’t authorize expensive tests like MRI’s or EMG/nerve conduction … Continue reading Delays in Getting Medical Care on Your Nevada Work Comp Claim

Should You Get a Second Opinion Before Having a Spinal Fusion?
By admin on June 9, 2011

Most industrial insurers will schedule injured workers for a second opinion before authorizing an orthopedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon’s request to do a spinal fusion.  It is a good idea, even if the insurer isn’t requiring it, to get a second opinion on whether a spinal fusion is the best treatment for you.  Many injured workers  immediately agree … Continue reading Should You Get a Second Opinion Before Having a Spinal Fusion?

Great Explanation of CRPS
By admin on May 25, 2011

See attached video for a great explanation of how someone with CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome) experiences pain. http://www.ted.com/talks/elliot_krane_the_mystery_of_chronic_pain.html


Hope for Chronic Pain Sufferers
By admin on May 10, 2011

Last week, I had lunch with Dr. Mel Pohl, M.D., the Medical Director of Las Vegas Recovery Center, and his Admissions Coordinator,  Jackie Pippin.  The Las Vegas Recovery Center is a small, private facility that offers a  chronic pain recovery program.  While most chronic pain management treatment for injured workers involves ongoing prescription pain medication, injections and surgeries,  this … Continue reading Hope for Chronic Pain Sufferers

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: It’s Real!
By admin on March 24, 2011

Formerly called RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy),  CRPS ( complex regional pain syndrome)  is a  type of pain  thought to be caused by an injury or abnormality in the nerve pathway.  It typically causes a  burning sensation, and hypersensitivity to touch  somewhere in the arms or legs.   If not treated early, it may spread from one limb to … Continue reading Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: It’s Real!

Help for Chronic Pain
By admin on December 1, 2010

I came across another website that offers information on treating chronic pain, as well as a comprehensive list of other websites with additional help for people dealing with injuries or illnesses that cause chronic and long-lasting pain. There may be something useful for you here, particularly the kit offered for tracking and measuring your pain.  … Continue reading Help for Chronic Pain


Getting Medication After Claim Closure
By admin on September 22, 2010

  When the adjuster sends a letter, either scheduling a rating evaluation, or simply closing the claim, No additional medical treatment will be authorized.  That means that the insurer will also stop paying for any medication refills, and will not authorize return visits to the doctor for more medication.  If the injured worker’s treating doctor … Continue reading Getting Medication After Claim Closure

What Is a Physiatrist?
By admin on March 26, 2010

One type of physician that injured workers commonly encounter is the physiatrist,  also known as a physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM & R) physician.   While the name  sounds similar to a psychiatrist,  a  physiatrist  treats physical injuries as opposed to mental or behavioral problems. A surgeon may refer her patient to a physiatrist after a surgery when … Continue reading What Is a Physiatrist?

Physician Progress Reports- Nevada Work Comp Info
By admin on December 8, 2009

After every visit to a treating doctor, the injured worker should make sure that he or she leaves with a copy of  a physician progress report (PPR).  Most doctors who are on insurers’ provider lists use the DIR- approved physician progress report form.  However, some doctors have forms on their own stationery that  have the … Continue reading Physician Progress Reports- Nevada Work Comp Info


Knee and Shoulder Injuries at Work
By admin on September 22, 2009

Work-related traumatic injuries to knees and shoulders are common. These are two of the most complex joints in the body. If an injured worker is not getting better with physical therapy, reduced activity, and drugs to reduce inflammation, the initial treating physician may then order a MRI to better diagnose injury to the ligaments, tendons, … Continue reading Knee and Shoulder Injuries at Work

Little Change to Rules on Choice of Physician
By admin on June 23, 2009

The 2009 legislative session was preoccupied with the economic crisis,  the state budget, and an unprecedented number of bills vetoed by the governor, the majority of which  were promptly reaffirmed by the state assembly and senate. Injured workers seeking reforms didn’t stand much of a chance to make significant changes in this climate.   However, Assembly … Continue reading Little Change to Rules on Choice of Physician


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