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Is Degenerative Disc Disease Work-Related?

Some of the most common injuries resulting in workers’ compensation claims are arthritis and degenerative disc disease.

In the state of Missouri, if a workplace injury causes these injuries (or aggravates them if they are pre-existing), you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If you’ve suffered these injuries, here’s what you should know and what you can do.

missouri worker with Degenerative Disc Disease


Arthritis is common in those who work physically grueling and repetitive jobs. Carrying heavy objects and being under physical strain can aggravate and worsen the joints. Arthritis is commonly felt as pain and inflammation in the joints and can make it hard to move.

Several common types of arthritis such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis. Stiffness, pain, and swelling in the joints are all common symptoms. Repetitive work like typing, assembly-line jobs, or scanning bar codes all day is repetitive movements that may aggravate arthritis and cause a workers’ comp injury.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is a pain in the neck and lower back caused by a damaged disc. A ruptured disc slipped disc, or herniated disc can all cause pain and symptoms associated with degenerative disc disease. 

Degenerative disc disease can make it difficult to perform physical labor. It is often caused by physically straining jobs, like construction or operating heavy machinery. Both degenerative disc disease and arthritis can lead to pain and loss of earnings, as someone may be physically unable to work.

Getting Workers’ Compensation for Degenerative Disc Disease and Arthritis

Even if you had a pre-existing condition that was not work-related, if you aggravated your arthritis or degenerative disc disease due to a workplace injury, you might still be entitled to compensation. You would have to prove that the injury occurred as a result of work. If you had filed records of your injuries at work when they happened, it would be easier for your attorney to prove the injury was caused in the workplace, if necessary.

Any employer in Missouri with more than five employees, and any construction employer with any number of employees, must maintain workers’ compensation coverage for its employees. To be eligible for workers’ compensation insurance, you must show three things.

  • You have suffered a work-related mental or physical injury
  • This injury prevents you from working normally or will cause loss of earnings in the future
  • You notify your employer within 30 days of being aware of the injury

Speak With an Experienced Kansas City, Missouri Work Injury Lawyer

Arthritis and degenerative disc disease are serious injuries that can affect your short-term and long-term working potential. If you incurred these injuries or aggravated them at work, you may be entitled to compensation. To schedule a free consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney with over 30 years of experience, call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann 24/7 at (816) 399-3706.

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Updated: April 15, 2021

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