Elder Law covers a broad area of topics. To ensure that an elder is cared for and that they are treated fairly, laws have been created to address and protect their rights. Here are three common topics in Elder Law. Continue reading “3 Common Topics in Elder Law”
As Americans begin to learn more about the dangers of talc, more of them are using the court system to hold accountable companies whose products contain the mineral.
A new case has been brought against Johnson & Johnson in Los Angeles County. The plaintiff is a man whose wife died of ovarian cancer. The woman used Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower to Shower powder, both feminine hygiene products.
This new filing comes on the heels of a recent jury finding in St. Louis that the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer after using talc-containing feminine hygiene products was entitled to $72 million in damages.
According to court documents, Soren Threadgill contends that his wife, Eva Maria, used the talc-containing products for 25 years. Doctors diagnosed her with ovarian cancer in 1998, and she died four years later.
His suit contends that Johnson & Johnson; Imerys Talc America, Johnson & Johnson’s main talc supplier; and the stores where the products were purchased, Rite Aid Corp. and Gelson’s, a supermarket chain, are liable for her wrongful death. The suit also alleges fraud, negligence, breach of implied warranty and product liability.
As in more than 1,000 cases across the country, Eva Maria Threadgill used the talc-containing products on a daily basis. Research has shown that talc particles from the powders make their way through the female genital area, ultimately settling in the ovaries, where they lead to a significant cancer risk.
Johnson & Johnson marketing efforts over the past several decades show that the company intended for its products to be used regularly — “Just a sprinkle a day keeps the odor away,” one ad slogan reads, according to Threadgill’s complaint. Another slogan encourages women to use the products “ anytime you want the skin to feel soft, fresh and comfortable.”
However, leading cancer researchers have linked talc to cancer for many years. In 1994, the Cancer Prevention Coalition warned Johnson & Johnson that females who use talc-containing products in their genital area are at “a serious risk of ovarian cancer,” Threadgill’s suit notes. Also in the suit is the fact that the International Association for the Research of Cancer labeled as a human carcinogen hygiene powders that contain talc.
To date, Johnson & Johnson has refused to include a warning label of the cancer risk on any of its products that include talc. The company has earned special scorn for its marketing efforts toward African-American females, who use body powders at a higher rate than the female population in general.
At the Law Offices of Lisa Douglas, we understand the value of a good education.Attorney Lisa Douglas is not just a trusted Arkansas lawyer, she is also a licensed registered nurse. Her educational background has gotten her where she is today, and given her invaluable experience that she uses to represent Arkansas injury victims. The Law Offices of Lisa Douglas is seeking a nursing or medical student who wants to make a difference in the lives of others.
The Lisa Douglas Future of Medicine Scholarship is accepting applications from students accepted to or enrolled at an accredited college or university in the United States. Applicants will be judged on academic merit, as well as the content of their essay response.
To apply for the scholarship, please submit an essay addressing the following:
As attorneys experienced with medical malpractice, we know how important medical professionals can be. In 500 words or less, describe why you chose the medical field, and how you plan to use your education to help those in need.
One $500 scholarship will be awarded.
Applications must be received by December 1, 2016.
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Must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
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Please submit your essay, unofficial transcript, name, address, phone number, and email address to the following: email@example.com
Social Security Disability “How do I Receive Healthcare While Awaiting for Approval on My Social Security Case ?”
It is not uncommon for a social security disability applicant to be without healthcare insurance.Because it is so important that you receive your treatment while you are waiting for your claim to be approved, I have located some useful sites to assist you in finding treatment.
Disclaimer: We do not guarantee the availability of these resources nor costs associated therewith, but offer this list as a courtesy to the public.This page last updated October 19, 2009. One useful site that contains numerous resources is ARKANSAS CHARITY AND INCOME BASED CARE
Useful Links to learn more about clinics that provide Free or Discounted Healthcare:
- Catholic Charities of AR Westside Free Medical Clinic
- National Association of Free Clinics
- River City Ministry
- Open Hands Homeless Clinic
- Arkansas Association of Charitable Clinics Maps
List of Clinics that Provide Free HealthCare
|Charitable Christian Medical Clinic||133 Arbor St||Hot Springs||Arkansas||71901||(501) 623-8850|
|Charitable Christian Medical Clinic of Hope||P.O. Box 374||Hope||Arkansas||71802||(870) 777-8975|
|Christian Community Care Clinic||302 W. South Street||Benton||Arkansas||72018||(501) 776-1703|
|Christian Health Center||501 W Main St, Ste G||Heber Springs||Arkansas||72543||(501) 362-2252|
|Christian Health Center||1115 Fairview||Camden||Arkansas||71701||(870) 231-1111|
|Christian Health Center of Howard County||P.O. Box 173||Nashville||Arkansas||71852||(870) 845-2871|
|Christian Health Ministry||P.O. Box 2151||Searcy||Arkansas||72143||(501) 305-3888|
|Conway Interfaith Clinic, Inc.||830 North Creek||Conway||Arkansas||72032||(501) 932-0559|
|Eureka Christian Health Outreach (ECHO)||195 Huntsville Rd.||Eureka Springs||Arkansas||72632||(479) 253-7774|
|Good Samaritan Clinic (AR)||615 North B Street||Fort Smith||Arkansas||72901||(479) 783-0233|
|Grand Prairie Charitable Medical Clinic||P.O. Box 426||DeWitt||Arkansas||72042||(870) 946-2224|
|Great River Charitable Clinic||P.O. Box 494||Blytheville||Arkansas||72316||(870) 762-5459|
|Harmony Health Clinic||P.O. Box 7287||Little Rock||Arkansas||72206||(501) 375-4400|
|Interfaith Clinic||514 W Faulkner St||El Dorado||Arkansas||71730||(870) 864-8010|
|Jonesboro Church Health Center||200 W. Matthews Avenue||Jonesboro||Arkansas||72403||(870) 972-4777|
|Lonoke County Christian Clinic||502 Richie Road||Cabot||Arkansas||72023||(502) 743-6134|
|Mission Outreach Charitable Clinic||1 Medical Dr||Paragould||Arkansas||72450||(870) 236-8080|
|Mountain Home Christian Clinic||421 W. Wade Ave||Mountain Home||Arkansas||72653||(870) 425-5010|
|Northwest Arkansas Free Health Ctr||10 South College Avenue||Fayetteville||Arkansas||72701||(479) 444-7548|
|Pine Street Free Clinic||1114 Ingram Street||Conway||Arkansas||72032||(501) 450-7232|
|River City Ministry of Pulaski County||P.O. Box 2179||North Little Rock||Arkansas||72215||(501) 376-6694|
|River Valley Christian Clinic||1714 State Hwgy 22||Dardanelle||Arkansas||72834||(479) 229-2566|
|Conway County Christian Clinic, Inc.||1208 West Childress Street||Morrilton||Arkansas||72110||(501) 354-4411|
FREE HEALTHCARE.COM LISTED THE BELOW AS
FREE HEALTHCARE CLINICS: (Free Clinics In ARKANSAS)
ALTHEIMER CLINIC (SCHOOL-BASED)
309 S. Edline
Altheimer, AR 72004-8559
AMITY COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER
329 N. Hill St.
Amity, AR 71921-9635
WHITE RIVER RURAL HEALTH CENTER, INC.
623 N. 9th St.
Augusta, AR 72006-2129
AUGUSTA DENTAL CLINIC
623 N. 9th St.
Augusta, AR 72006-2129
WHITE RIVER RURAL HEALTH CENTER, INC.
623 N. 9th St.
Augusta, AR 72006-2129
AUGUSTA DENTAL CLINIC
623 N. 9th St.
Augusta, AR 72006-2129
WHITE RIVER RURAL HLTH WELLNESS
904 N. 4th St.
Augusta, AR 72006-2039
BALD KNOB MEDICAL CLINIC
2802 Highway 367 N.
Bald Knob, AR 72010-3165
INDEPENDENCE FAMILY HEALTH
1183 Batesville Blvd.
Batesville, AR 72501-8925
BEARDEN HEALTH CENTER
2nd & School Street
Bearden, AR 71720
BRINKLEY HEALTH CENTER & PHARMACY
615 N. Main St.
Brinkley, AR 72021-2507
CARLISLE MEDICAL CLINIC
821 East Park St. Hwy 70
Carlisle, AR 72024
MID-DELTA HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC.
401 Midland St.
Clarendon, AR 72029-2727
BMRHC – CLINTON CLINIC
465 Medical Center Pkwy.
Clinton, AR 72031
COLLEGE STATION CLINIC
4206 Frazier Pike
College Station, AR
CORNING AREA HEALTHCARE, INC.
1300 Creason Rd.
Corning, AR 72422-1716
COTTON PLANT MEDICAL CLINIC
125 Oak St.
Cotton Plant, AR 72036
BOSTON MOUNTAIN RURAL HLTH CTR
Hc 31 Box 310
Deer, AR 72628-9616
WYNNE HEALTH CENTER
611 Julia Ave. E.
Wynne, AR 72396-3506
DES ARC HEALTH CENTER
405 Highway 11 N.
Des Arc, AR 72040-3140
DES ARC DENTAL CLINIC
405 Highway 11 N.
Des Arc, AR 72040-3140
579 E. Beouff St.
Eudora, AR 71640-3090
BOSTON MOUNTAIN RURAL HEALTH CTR
110 Village Ln.
Fairfield Bay, AR 72088
THE NORTHSIDE CLINIC
4900 Kelley Hwy
Fort Smith, AR 72904-5000
FOUNTAIN HILL MAINLINE CLINIC
108 S. Hickory
Fountain Hill, AR 71642
CABUN RURAL HEALTH SERVICES, INC.
402 Lee St.
Hampton, AR 71744-8937
HAZEN MEDICAL CLINIC
100 E. Front St.
Hazen, AR 72064
HEBER SPRINGS FAMILY HLTH CTR
309 Southridge Blvd. Ste A
Heber Springs, AR 72543-8877
LAKEVIEW AREA CLINIC
14264 Highway 44
Helena, AR 72342-9070
HOPE MIGRANT HEALTH CENTER
205 Smith Rd.
Hope, AR 71801-8801
503 S. Broadway St.
Hughes, AR 72348-9701
Boston Mountain Rural Health Center, Inc.
934 N. Gaskill St.
Huntsville, AR 72740-8903
NESBORO FAMILY HC – NORTH
1530 N. Church St.
Jonesboro, AR 72401-1515
WHITE RIVER MED SERVICE CLINIC
606 W. Wilbur Mills Ave.
Kensett, AR 72082-9051
Lake City Health Center
1009 Highway 18
Lake City, AR 72437-9622
EAST ARKANSAS FAMILY HEALTH CTR
102 W. Broad St.
Lepanto, AR 72354-2200
LEWISVILLE FAMILY PRACTICE CTR.
1117 Chestnut St.
Lewisville, AR 71845
LITTLE ROCK CHC
1522 W. 10th St.
Little Rock, AR 72202-3526
HOMELESS OPEN HANDS
1225 Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.
Little Rock, AR 72202-4743
LEE COUNTY COOPERATIVE CLINIC
530 Atkins Blvd.
Marianna, AR 72360-2113
BOSTON MOUNTAIN RURAL HEALTH CENTER
2263 Highway 65 N.
Marshall, AR 72650
MCCRORY HEALTH CENTER
801 N. Edmonds
McCrory, AR 72101
Montgomery County Community Clinic
534 Luzerne St.
Mount Ida, AR 71957-9449
PARKIN MEDICAL CLINIC & PHARMACY
1740 Church St.
Parkin, AR 72373
POCAHONTAS FAMILY MEDICAL CENTER
141 Betty Dr.
Pocahontas, AR 72455-3602
MAINLINE HEALTH SYSTEM, INC.
233 N. Main St.
Portland, AR 71663
RIVER VALLEY PRIMARY CARE SERVICES
9755 W. State Highway 22
Ratcliff, AR 72951-9000
113 W. River Rd.
Redfield, AR 72132-9253
Rison, AR 71665
Community Clinic Rogers Medical
1114 Poplar Pl.
Rogers, AR 72756-4249
COMMUNITY CLINIC ROGERS/DENTAL
3710 Southern Hills Blvd.
Rogers, AR 72758-8041
DBA COMMUNITY CLINIC @ ST. FRANCIS HOUSE
614 E. Emma Ave. Ste 300
Springdale, AR 72764-4469
253 S. Concord St.
Strong, AR 71765
SWIFTON MEDICAL CLINIC
300 E. Main St.
Swifton, AR 72471
COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE CENTER
3219 Highway 67B
Walnut Ridge, AR 72476-8567
EAST ARKANSAS FAMILY HEALTH CENTER, INC.
215 E. Bond Ave.
West Memphis, AR 72301-3550
203 McCombs St.
Wilmot, AR 71676-8800
Order your FREE BOOK today, to help guide you through this difficult period of time in your life. In many cases it will take approximately two years before your claim is actually decided.
If you have not already received “Documenting Disability for Health Care Provider’s” request a copy by calling or emailing my office. This companion book is designed to guide your health care providers in their documentation of your disability according to the guidelines as set out by the Social Security Administration.
DISCLAIMER: Remember, this book is not intended to give legal advice and nothing in this book is legal advice. Obtaining this book from me does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. I do not sign up everyone who calls my office.
DON’T WRECK YOUR INJURY CLAIM
ARKANSAS CAR ACCIDENT GUIDE
DO YOU KNOW THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS?
- Should I give a statement to anyone?
- Should I settle my claim right away?
- Should I sign all those forms from the insurance company?
- Should I receive treatment with the provider recommended by my attorney?
- FREE Consumer Guide for Arkansas Accident Victims.
- Receive your free guide by emailing your name and mailing address through the contact tab.
- All others may purchase this book through Amazon for $14.99 reference
ISBN # 978-1441445773.
Mistake #1: Ignore Deadlines.
Many, who are applying for Social Security Disability are so ill they have a difficult time keeping up with the deadlines imposed by the Social Security Administration. But the Social Security Administration has very strict deadlines which you cannot just ignore. If you receive a denial letter, you have only 60 days to appeal.
Mistake #2: Stopping Medical Treatment.
It is a commonly held belief that if a person stops receiving medical treatment for his/her disabling condition, then they are no longer ill, but now they have recovered from this debilitating disease or condition. If there are significant gaps in treatment, this suggests you are not suffering from a disability; otherwise, you would be maintaining your treatment and care for whatever you suffer from that prevents you from being able to work. They prove the severity of your condition. Without the support of your medical records, you have very little change to win your case. Remember, it is difficult for an ALJ or anyone else for that matter to give credence to your complains or ailments if you have not continued to see a doctor for them. So if you are complaining of chronic pain it is important that you have ongoing documentation of treatment for this persistent chronic condition, such as treatment by a pain management doctor.
People who are applying for Social Security Disability often do not have the insurance or the funds to pay for treatment. But the treatment records, i.e. your medical records are the evidence that is relied on to prove the severity of your condition. Most claims do not contain enough medical documentation to win benefits.
There are programs in the community that you could qualify for in order to receive medical treatment. You should check with the local non profit facilities to see if they provide programs that you may qualify for. Your attorney could assist you in locating these resources.
Mistake #3: Relying on the consultative examiner to prove your disability claim.
The Social Security Administration may schedule you for an appointment with a “consultative examiner.” Generally this consultative examiner (CE) is a medical doctor or psychologist specializing in the field of your disability. It is a mistake to merely rely on the CE’s report to prove your disability claim. For this examining doctor does not know you as well as your treating doctor would. This examining doctor’s report is limited to his/her examination of your along with a review of your medical history and any diagnostic tests that may have been received to write a comprehensive report. This evaluation is limited as compared to an on going progress report provided by your treating doctor. In addition, remember the CE does not work for you, this doctor is paid by the Social Security Administration to obtain medical evidence and write a report.
Mistake #4: Ignoring Mail From the Social Security Administration.
Sticking your head in the sand does not benefit your situation. Although you may be feeling ill, tired or just do not want to deal with potentially bad news from the Social Security Administration, this is no time to ignore their correspondence. If the Social Security Administration send you a letter requesting additional information or scheduled you for a consultative examination and you do not reply, you end up delaying your claim or worse yet risk having your claim denied.
Mistake #5: Failing to Keep Copies of Your Correspondence.
Sometimes forms or letters are misplaced at the Social Security Administration office. Protect yourself by making copies of anything you send to them.
Mistake #6: Delay Applying for Benefits.
Sometimes people delay applying for disability because they feel their condition will improve. In the interim, most have become unable to work and even end up quitting their job due to their inability to perform it. You should apply for Social Security Disability as soon as you and your medical doctor decide that your condition will prevent you from returning to work. Waiting to file could cost you benefits that you might not be able to recover. You should apply as soon as you stop working due to your disability, you do not have to wait for one year to apply.
Remember for approval, the Social Security Administration law requires one of the following: (1) you have already been disabled and out of work for one year, or (2) your doctors expect that you will be unable to work for a minimum of one year from the date you last worked, or (3) your medical condition is expected to result in death. You do not have to be unemployed for one year before applying for Social Security Disability. If you have been told this, that information is incorrect.
Mistake #7: Continue Working While Applying for Social Security Disability.
If you are capable of working you are not disabled. It is not enough to just show you are unable to return to the type of work you used to do. you also must be incapable of performing any other job. This claim should be backed up by your treating physician.
You do not have to retain an attorney. Legal representation is not required for any portion of the Social Security Disability application process or the appeal to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
However, retaining an attorney at the beginning of your claims process could increase your chances of prevailing at the beginning of the process.
Americans spend approximately $50 billion each year on low back pain, the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work. Back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the United States — only headache is more common. Most occurrences of low back pain go away within a few days. Others take much longer to resolve or lead to more serious conditions. Acute or short-term low back pain generally lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Most acute back pain is the result of trauma to the lower back. Pain from trauma may be caused by a sports injury, work around the house or in the garden, or a sudden jolt such as a car accident or other stress on spinal bones and tissues. Symptoms may range from muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain, limited flexibility and/or range of motion, or an inability to stand straight.
Chronic back pain is measured by duration — pain that persists for more than 3 months is considered chronic. It is often progressive. Pain Management Clinic
Starting at the top, the spine has four regions:
- the seven cervical or neck vertebrae (labeled C1–C7), the 12 thoracic or upper back vertebrae (labeled T1–T12), the five lumbar vertebrae (labeled L1–L5), which we know as the lower back, and the sacrum and coccyx, a group of bones fused together at the base of the spine.
- The lumbar region of the back, where most back pain is felt, supports the weight of the upper body.
Pain can occur when, for example, someone lifts something too heavy or overstretches, causing a sprain, strain, or spasm in one of the muscles or ligaments in the back. If the spine becomes overly strained or compressed, a disc may rupture or bulge outward. This rupture may put pressure on one of the more than 50 nerves rooted to the spinal cord that control body movements and transmit signals from the body to the brain. When these nerve roots become compressed or irritated, back pain results.
Most low back pain follows injury or trauma to the back.
Conditions that may cause low back pain and require treatment by a physician or other health specialist include:Bulging disc (also called protruding, herniated, or ruptured disc). The intervertebral discs are under constant pressure. As discs degenerate and weaken, cartilage can bulge or be pushed into the space containing the spinal cord or a nerve root, causing pain. Studies have shown that most herniated discs occur in the lower, lumbar portion of the spinal column. A much more serious complication of a ruptured disc is cauda equina syndrome, which occurs when disc material is pushed into the spinal canal and compresses the bundle of lumbar and sacral nerve roots. Permanent neurological damage may result if this syndrome is left untreated. Sciatica is a condition in which a herniated or ruptured disc presses on the sciatic nerve, the large nerve that extends down the spinal column to its exit point in the pelvis and carries nerve fibers to the leg. This compression causes shock-like or burning low back pain combined with pain through the buttocks and down one leg to below the knee, occasionally reaching the foot. In the most extreme cases, when the nerve is pinched between the disc and an adjacent bone, the symptoms involve not pain but numbness and some loss of motor control over the leg due to interruption of nerve signaling. Spinal stenosis related to congenital narrowing of the bony canal predisposes some people to pain related to disc disease. Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disease marked by progressive decrease in bone density and strength. Fracture of brittle, porous bones in the spine and hips results when the body fails to produce new bone and/or absorbs too much existing bone. Women are four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple “tender points,” particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips.
A variety of diagnostic methods are available to confirm the cause of low back pain:X-ray imaging includes conventional and enhanced methods that can help diagnose the cause and site of back pain. A conventional x-ray, often the first imaging technique used, looks for broken bones or an injured vertebra. A technician passes a concentrated beam of low-dose ionized radiation through the back and takes pictures that, within minutes, clearly show the bony structure and any vertebral misalignment or fractures. Tissue masses such as injured muscles and ligaments or painful conditions such as a bulging disc are not visible on conventional x-rays. This fast, noninvasive, painless procedure is usually performed in a doctor’s office or at a clinic. Discography involves the injection of a special contrast dye into a spinal disc thought to be causing low back pain. The dye outlines the damaged areas on x-rays taken following the injection. This procedure is often suggested for patients who are considering lumbar surgery or whose pain has not responded to conventional treatments. Myelograms also enhance the diagnostic imaging of an x-ray. In this procedure, the contrast dye is injected into the spinal canal, allowing spinal cord and nerve compression caused by herniated discs or fractures to be seen on an x-ray. Computerized tomography (CT) is a quick and painless process used when disc rupture, spinal stenosis, or damage to vertebrae is suspected as a cause of low back pain. X-rays are passed through the body at various angles and are detected by a computerized scanner to produce two-dimensional slices (1 mm each) of internal structures of the back. This diagnostic exam is generally conducted at an imaging center or hospital. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to evaluate the lumbar region for bone degeneration or injury or disease in tissues and nerves, muscles, ligaments, and blood vessels. MRI scanning equipment creates a magnetic field around the body strong enough to temporarily realign water molecules in the tissues. Radio waves are then passed through the body to detect the “relaxation” of the molecules back to a random alignment and trigger a resonance signal at different angles within the body. A computer processes this resonance into either a three-dimensional picture or a two-dimensional “slice” of the tissue being scanned, and differentiates between bone, soft tissues and fluid-filled spaces by their water content and structural properties. This noninvasive procedure is often used to identify a condition requiring prompt surgical treatment. Electrodiagnostic procedures include electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction studies, and evoked potential (EP) studies. EMG assesses the electrical activity in a nerve and can detect if muscle weakness results from injury or a problem with the nerves that control the muscles. Very fine needles are inserted in muscles to measure electrical activity transmitted from the brain or spinal cord to a particular area of the body. With nerve conduction studies the doctor uses two sets of electrodes (similar to those used during an electrocardiogram) that are placed on the skin over the muscles. The first set gives the patient a mild shock to stimulate the nerve that runs to a particular muscle. The second set of electrodes is used to make a recording of the nerveâ€™s electrical signals, and from this information the doctor can determine if there is nerve damage. EP tests also involve two sets of electrodes — one set to stimulate a sensory nerve and the other set on the scalp to record the speed of nerve signal transmissions to the brain. Bone scans are used to diagnose and monitor infection, fracture, or disorders in the bone. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream and will collect in the bones, particularly in areas with some abnormality. Scanner-generated images are sent to a computer to identify specific areas of irregular bone metabolism or abnormal blood flow, as well as to measure levels of joint disease. Thermography involves the use of infrared sensing devices to measure small temperature changes between the two sides of the body or the temperature of a specific organ. Thermography may be used to detect the presence or absence of nerve root compression. Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves to obtain images inside the body. The sound wave echoes are recorded and displayed as a real-time visual image. Ultrasound imaging can show tears in ligaments, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissue masses in the back.
Most low back pain can be treated without surgery. Treatment involves using analgesics, reducing inflammation, restoring proper function and strength to the back, and preventing recurrence of the injury. Most patients with back pain recover without residual functional loss. Patients should contact a doctor if there is not a noticeable reduction in pain and inflammation after 72 hours of self-care. Medications are often used to treat acute and chronic low back pain. Effective pain relief may involve a combination of prescription drugs and over-the-counter remedies. Patients should always check with a doctor before taking drugs for pain relief. Over-the-counter analgesics, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen), are taken orally to reduce stiffness, swelling, and inflammation and to ease mild to moderate low back pain. Counter-irritants applied topically to the skin as a cream or spray stimulate the nerve endings in the skin to provide feelings of warmth or cold and dull the sense of pain. Topical analgesics can also reduce inflammation and stimulate blood flow. Many of these compounds contain salicylates, the same ingredient found in oral pain medications containing aspirin.
Anticonvulsants — drugs primarily used to treat seizures — may be useful in treating certain types of nerve pain and may also be prescribed with analgesics. Some antidepressants, particularly tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and desipramine, have been shown to relieve pain (independent of their effect on depression) and assist with sleep. Antidepressants alter levels of brain chemicals to elevate mood and dull pain signals. Many of the new antidepressants, such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are being studied for their effectiveness in pain relief. Opioids such as codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine are often prescribed to manage severe acute and chronic back pain but should be used only for a short period of time and under a physicianâ€™s supervision.
Spinal manipulation is literally a “hands-on” approach in which professionally licensed specialists (doctors of chiropractic care) use leverage and a series of exercises to adjust spinal structures and restore back mobility.
In the most serious cases, when the condition does not respond to other therapies, surgery may relieve pain caused by back problems or serious musculoskeletal injuries. Some surgical procedures may be performed in a doctor’s office under local anesthesia, while others require hospitalization. It may be months following surgery before the patient is fully healed, and he or she may suffer permanent loss of flexibility. Since invasive back surgery is not always successful, it should be performed only in patients with progressive neurologic disease or damage to the peripheral nerves.
Discectomy is one of the more common ways to remove pressure on a nerve root from a bulging disc or bone spur. During the procedure the surgeon takes out a small piece of the lamina (the arched bony roof of the spinal canal) to remove the obstruction below. Foraminotomy is an operation that “cleans out” or enlarges the bony hole (foramen) where a nerve root exits the spinal canal. Bulging discs or joints thickened with age can cause narrowing of the space through which the spinal nerve exits and can press on the nerve, resulting in pain, numbness, and weakness in an arm or leg. Small pieces of bone over the nerve are removed through a small slit, allowing the surgeon to cut away the blockage and relieve the pressure on the nerve. IntraDiscal Electrothermal Therapy (IDET) uses thermal energy to treat pain resulting from a cracked or bulging spinal disc. A special needle is inserted via a catheter into the disc and heated to a high temperature for up to 20 minutes. The heat thickens and seals the disc wall and reduces inner disc bulge and irritation of the spinal nerve. Nucleoplasty uses radiofrequency energy to treat patients with low back pain from contained, or mildly herniated, discs. Guided by x-ray imaging, a wand-like instrument is inserted through a needle into the disc to create a channel that allows inner disc material to be removed. The wand then heats and shrinks the tissue, sealing the disc wall. Several channels are made depending on how much disc material needs to be removed. Radiofrequency lesioning is a procedure using electrical impulses to interrupt nerve conduction (including the conduction of pain signals) for 6 to12 months. Using x-ray guidance, a special needle is inserted into nerve tissue in the affected area. Tissue surrounding the needle tip is heated for 90-120 seconds, resulting in localized destruction of the nerves. Spinal fusion is used to strengthen the spine and prevent painful movements. The spinal disc(s) between two or more vertebrae is removed and the adjacent vertebrae are “fused” by bone grafts and/or metal devices secured by screws. Spinal fusion may result in some loss of flexibility in the spine and requires a long recovery period to allow the bone grafts to grow and fuse the vertebrae together.
Spinal laminectomy (also known as spinal decompression) involves the removal of the lamina (usually both sides) to increase the size of the spinal canal and relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots.
Other surgical procedures to relieve severe chronic pain include rhizotomy, in which the nerve root close to where it enters the spinal cord is cut to block nerve transmission and all senses from the area of the body experiencing pain; cordotomy, where bundles of nerve fibers on one or both sides of the spinal cord are intentionally severed to stop the transmission of pain signals to the brain; and dorsal root entry zone operation, or DREZ, in which spinal neurons transmitting the patientâ€™s pain are destroyed surgically.
More information is available from the following organizations:
Slip and fall accidents can be very serious. According to the CDC, 20 percent of falls cause a serious head or neck injury. Because these cases can be so severe, there are few key things you may want to consider if you’re the victim of a slip and fall accident caused by someone else’s negligence:
- Seek Medical Care After the Fall The victim should seek medical treatment immediately after the incident. Sometimes, complications do not occur immediately after the fall. Residual pain from injuries can become an issue days after the accident. If the victim does not seek medical attention immediately after the accident, the insurance company may be able to argue that the pain was not caused by the fall. A doctor’s official medical diagnosis can be an incredibly valuable record during a slip and fall case.
- Report the Incident to the Owner We want to make sure our clients are properly compensated. If the accident happens on private property, the victim should notify the person in charge of the property. If the fall happens in a commercial building, the incident should be reported to a manager. For accidents that occur on public or recreational property, the municipal body responsible for the public space should be notified by a phone call and written notification.
- Ask for Contact Information From Witnesses If there are any witnesses to the incident, the victim should gather their contact information. An experienced DC personal injury lawyer may ask for the witnesses full names and phone numbers as their testimony could be a role in determining who is liable for the incident.
- Gather Photographic Evidence From the Scene Videos and pictures of the scene and injuries should be taken as soon as possible. These photos can also be useful in determining liability, as well as potentially help verify injury severity. This kind of documentation can be key for pursuing a claim quickly and effectively.
- Consider Hiring an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Before speaking with any insurance companies, the victim may want to consider hiring an experienced personal injury attorney. The process of handling a personal injury claim can be complex and delicate. Simply put, mistakes due to inexperience or lack of knowledge can be the difference between getting the compensation you deserve, or facing the consequences of a personal injury alone.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, it may be in your best interest to contact an experienced DC personal injury lawyer. An attorney may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Thanks to our friends and co-contributors at Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their added insight into personal injury practice.
According to the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts publication, the average economic cost to employers for a nonfatal car accident injury is more than $78,000. Employers are not the only ones who lose, especially when a person is injured while using a rideshare service. Continue reading “Injuries While Using Rideshare Services”