St. Paul Workers' Compensation Blog

Concussion: Diagnosis and treatment details

Any type of blow to the head, even one that doesn't seem severe, can cause a serious injury such as a concussion. Rather than hope you can treat the injury on your own, it's critical to receive immediate medical attention.

Your medical team can run a variety of tests to diagnose your condition, including but not limited to:

  • Imaging tests, such as an X-ray, MRI and CT scan
  • Cognitive testing
  • Neurological exam

Don’t ignore the symptoms of whiplash

Whiplash is a serious neck injury that occurs as the result of force that jerks your head forward or backward. For example, this often happens if your vehicle is struck from behind.

The most common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Pain when moving your head from front to back or side to side
  • Intense headaches, typically originating in the base of the skull
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Tightness in the neck
  • Tender to the touch

Steps to appeal a workers’ compensation denial

If you're injured on the job, you may decide to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. While you hope to receive an approval letter in the near future, you may get the exact opposite: a denial.

Here are the steps you can take to appeal a workers' compensation denial:

  • Contact your insurance company: This gives you the opportunity to ask questions, learn more about the denial and determine if there is anything you can do to have the decision reversed. For example, they may be missing a document that you can quickly supply.
  • File the necessary paperwork: You can't simply contact your insurance company and ask for the decision to be overturned. You need to file the necessary paperwork, such as an application to formalize the process.
  • Collect evidence: Supply your insurance company with whatever you can find to back up your claim. For example, medical records often come in handy if your employer is arguing that you didn't suffer a serious injury. It's always better to collect more evidence than not enough.

Post-traumatic stress disorder causes trauma in your life

If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night with night terrors, worrying about being able to cope when socializing or struggling with anxiety, you may have post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders or depression. Each of these conditions could develop following a serious traumatic event in your life.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) causes the natural feeling of fear to extend long past the time when it's needed. The fight-or-flight response continues despite your no longer being in danger.

Can stretching help prevent and treat lower back pain?

If you have suffered from lower back pain in the past, you know that it has a way of slowing you down. Depending on the cause, it may even keep you in bed for quite a bit of time.

Stretching can help prevent and treat lower back pain, so this is something you may want to work into your life as soon as possible. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you start:

  • Spread it out: Rather than cram all your stretching into one long session, tackle your stretches two to three times per day in small spurts.
  • Don't make it worse: As you perform stretches, you may feel that some are making your pain worse. For example, this may happen if you stretch while standing or sitting. Make note of this. Then, avoid these stretches in the future.
  • Don't tough it out: There's nothing wrong with stopping dead in your tracks if you experience pain. Toughing out the pain won't do you any good, so don't take this approach.
  • Combine stretching and exercise: For example, a simple walk after stretching can help strengthen your back muscles and restore you to normal faster.

Neck fracture symptoms and diagnosis

A neck fracture is one of the most serious injuries you can face, as it has the potential to result in paralysis and even death. If you have any reason to believe you're dealing with this injury, you need to receive immediate medical care.

You should not attempt to move if you believe you have a neck fracture, as doing so can worsen your injury.

Construction site accident causes: Protect against these

If you work in the construction industry, regardless of your profession or daily responsibilities, there are a variety of risks to protect against. If you don't, the chance of being part of an accident is much greater.

Here are several of the most common causes of construction site accidents:

  • Slip and fall: This can happen to anyone at any time. For example, if the construction site is full of debris, you could catch your foot on something when walking, thus knocking you to the ground.
  • Falling objects: When people are working at height, the risk of an object falling to the ground below is very real.
  • Equipment accidents: There are many examples of this, such as using a power tool in a manner not consistent with directions.
  • Vehicle-related accidents: Construction sites are full of all types of vehicles, any of which can cause a serious accident. For example, a construction vehicle could back over or crush a worker.
  • Building collapse: It doesn't happen often, but it's always a risk in the construction industry. If a building collapses with workers inside, the chance of injury or death is very high.

A bulging disk can be treated in many ways

If you begin to experience back pain as the result of your employment, it's important to pinpoint what's gone wrong and how to resolve the pain and discomfort as quickly as possible.

A bulging disk, for example, can knock you off your feet for an extended period of time. Worse yet, if you don't receive the proper treatment, it's an issue that can come back time after time.

16 potential signs that someone is abusing opioids

Opioids are powerful painkillers often prescribed after serious injuries and surgeries. If your spouse gets injured at work, for instance, part of the treatment plan could include taking opioids to handle the pain.

These drugs are heavily regulated because, despite how useful they are when used correctly, they are highly addictive. Many people develop substance abuse and addiction issues that could last far longer than the initial injury itself. This addiction can be incredibly harmful and even, in some cases, fatal.

Are you worried about a scaffolding accident? These tips can help

If you regularly work on scaffolding, you may have some concerns about being part of an accident. You realize that an accident can cause serious injury or even death, so it's important to do whatever it takes to prevent trouble.

Here are several safety tips that can help prevent trouble when using scaffolding:

  • Safe setup: Before you ever use scaffolding, you need to focus on the way you're setting it up. If you make any mistake during this step, it increases the chance of an accident in the future.
  • Install a guardrail: Even if you don't think you need it, it's better to be safe than sorry. A guardrail can help prevent you (and every other worker) from falling to the ground below.
  • Set it on stable and firm ground: Be careful of where you're placing scaffolding, as soft or uneven ground increases the risk of an accident.
  • Keep items from falling: This is an important step, as any item that falls to the ground below could hurt someone else. Imagine if a power tool falls from scaffolding that's 25 feet in the air. If it strikes someone below, a serious injury is likely to occur.
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