Guide To Missouri Workers Compensation Back Injury Cases

Back injuries in the workplace are common and can be debilitating, affecting an individual’s ability to work and enjoy daily activities. For employees in Missouri, understanding the nuances of back injuries in the workplace and the legal recourse available through workers’ compensation is crucial.

As a Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer, we have represented hundreds of injured workers who have suffered back injuries while on the job and collected millions of dollars for them.

This guide will delve into the different types of Missouri Workers Compensation back injury cases, their causes, preventive measures, and the legal steps individuals can take to protect their rights and seek compensation.

Types of Missouri Workers Compensation Back Injury Cases

Back injuries can vary widely in severity and complexity. Among the most common types of back injuries encountered in the workplace are:

Back Strains and Sprains

These injuries occur when muscles or ligaments are overstretched or torn due to sudden movements or repetitive motions. Lifting heavy objects, bending, or twisting improperly are common causes of strains and sprains.  Frankly if you had this type of injury is may not be worth hiring a Missouri work comp lawyer.

Herniated Discs

Also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, this occurs when the soft tissue between the vertebrae protrudes, putting pressure on nearby nerves and causing pain, numbness, or weakness in the back and limbs.


Fractured vertebrae can result from falls, impacts, or accidents in the workplace. Compression fractures, where the vertebra collapses, are particularly common in industries requiring heavy lifting or significant physical exertion.


Sciatica is characterized by pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back through the hips and down each leg. It can be caused by compression of the nerve due to conditions like herniated discs or spinal stenosis.

Causes of Back Injuries

Numerous factors contribute to back injuries in the workplace, including:

Heavy Lifting

Improper lifting techniques, such as bending at the waist or lifting objects that are too heavy, can strain the muscles and lead to back injuries.

Repetitive Motion

Jobs that require repetitive bending, twisting, or lifting can gradually wear down the muscles and ligaments of the back, increasing the risk of injury over time.

Poor Ergonomics

Inadequate workstation setup, such as poorly adjusted chairs or desks, can lead to poor posture and increased strain on the back muscles.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Falls from heights, slippery surfaces, or uneven flooring can result in traumatic back injuries, including fractures and herniated discs.

Back pain can significantly impact your quality of life, limiting mobility and causing discomfort. While conservative treatments like physical therapy and medication may provide relief for some, others may require surgical intervention to alleviate symptoms and improve functionality.

Let’s explore some of the common types of back surgeries performed to address various spinal conditions.


A discectomy is a surgical procedure used to treat herniated or bulging discs in the spine. During the procedure, the surgeon removes the damaged portion of the disc that is pressing on nearby nerves, causing pain and discomfort.

This can often be performed using minimally invasive techniques, which result in smaller incisions, less tissue damage, and quicker recovery times compared to traditional open surgery.

Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that involves joining two or more vertebrae together to stabilize the spine and reduce pain. It is commonly performed to treat conditions such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, or spinal fractures. During the procedure, the surgeon may use bone grafts, metal implants, or synthetic materials to fuse the vertebrae together, promoting bone growth and stability.


A laminectomy, also known as spinal decompression surgery, is performed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves by removing the lamina, the bony arch of the vertebra.

This procedure is typically recommended for individuals with spinal stenosis, a condition characterized by the narrowing of the spinal canal, which can compress the spinal cord and nerve roots, leading to pain, weakness, and numbness.


Similar to a standard discectomy, a microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat herniated discs in the spine. However, in a microdiscectomy, the surgeon uses a microscope or specialized surgical tools to precisely target and remove the herniated portion of the disc through a smaller incision.

This technique allows for faster recovery times and reduces the risk of complications compared to traditional open surgery.

Artificial Disc Replacement

Artificial disc replacement is a surgical procedure designed to replace a damaged or degenerated disc in the spine with an artificial implant. Unlike spinal fusion, which immobilizes the affected segment of the spine, artificial disc replacement aims to preserve motion and flexibility in the spine.

This procedure may be recommended for individuals with symptomatic disc degeneration who have not responded to conservative treatments and are seeking an alternative to fusion surgery.

While surgery is not always necessary for the treatment of back pain, it can be a highly effective option for individuals who have not found relief with conservative treatments or who have progressive spinal conditions that require intervention.

Whether you require a discectomy, spinal fusion, laminectomy, microdiscectomy, or artificial disc replacement, if you have had one of these procedures as a result of your work place injury it’s essential to consult with a qualified Missouri Workers Compensation lawyer  to discuss your claim as you are likely leaving money on the table by representing yourself.

Preventive Measures

Employers and employees alike can take proactive steps to prevent back injuries in the workplace:

Proper Training

Employers should provide training on safe lifting techniques, ergonomic workstation setup, and the importance of taking regular breaks to avoid overexertion.

Use of Mechanical Aids

Encourage the use of mechanical lifting aids, such as forklifts or dollies, to reduce the risk of manual handling injuries during heavy lifting tasks.

Ergonomic Workstations

Ensure that workstations are ergonomically designed to promote good posture and reduce strain on the back muscles.

Regular Exercise and Stretching

Encourage employees to engage in regular exercise and stretching routines to strengthen the muscles supporting the back and improve flexibility.

Legal Recourse Through Workers’ Compensation

In Missouri, workers who sustain back injuries in the course of their employment are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which may include:

Medical Treatment

Coverage for medical expenses related to the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of back injuries, including doctor visits, medications, physical therapy, and surgical procedures.

Temporary Disability Benefits

Compensation for lost wages during the period of time an injured worker is unable to perform their job duties due to the back injury.

Permanent Disability Benefits

If a back injury results in permanent impairment or disability, the injured worker may be entitled to compensation for the loss of earning capacity.

Vocational Rehabilitation

Assistance with vocational training or job placement services if the back injury prevents the injured worker from returning to their previous job.  This is very rare in Missouri Comp today.

Back injuries in the workplace pose significant challenges for employees and employers alike. By understanding the types and causes of back injuries, implementing preventive measures, and knowing their rights under Missouri workers’ compensation laws, individuals can take proactive steps to protect their health and financial security.

As a Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer, we are committed to advocating for the rights of injured workers and helping them navigate the complexities of the legal system to secure the compensation they deserve.

If you or a loved one has suffered a back injury in the workplace, don’t hesitate to reach out for legal assistance.

If a Missouri Workers Compensation back injury does occur, prompt medical attention and rehabilitation are essential for a full recovery. Remember, prevention is key to maintaining a healthy and injury-free back in the workplace.

Don’t try taking on the insurance companies alone. Call The Krebs Law Firm for a free consultation. You need an experienced workers compensation attorney at your side to make sure you get what you deserve for your workplace injury. Call The Krebs Law Firm Springfield office at (417) 883-5886, our Columbia office at (573) 886-8976 or toll free at (800) 345-0535.

There is no upfront cost to hiring a Missouri Workers Compensation attorney for your claim. If have a potential Missouri work comp case and want to make sure you maximize your Missouri Workers Compensation benefits for your workplace injury, then you should speak to an experienced Missouri Workers Compensation attorney sooner rather than later.

Utilize our years of expertise to get the compensation you deserve and let us help each step of the way.