ZocdocAnswersCan an occupational medicine consultation show if I have a work injury?

Question

Can an occupational medicine consultation show if I have a work injury?

I think my back problems arefrom standing for extended periods at work. I haven't really had them treated. Is an occupational medicine doctor the type I should go to? If not, which?

Answer

Back pain is very common and there are many possible reasons for it. Occupational medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with occupational health, or the prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries occurring at work or in specific occupations. Some questions to ask yourself are did you ever have any back pain before you started this job, did you start any new exercise regimen or hobby which could be the cause of your back pain, did you get a new mattress which could be aggravating your back, or can you think of anything else besides standing that might have triggered your back pain. If you do not feel it was due to a work injury, you should make an appointment with your primary care provider to discuss your back pain. If you feel that your back pain is solely due to the requirements of your job, speak to your employer about having an occupational medicine consultation. Some employers work with specific doctors whereas others allow you to see anyone. They will perform a complete history and physical, and depending on your symptoms, may perform an x-ray. They might recommend making some adjustments to your job, such as resting a foot on a step while standing which can take a lot of pressure off your lower back. Also, stretching and taking breaks might help with your back pain.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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