Blogs under ‘Cases’

Dr Mary Wyatt | Published: September 18, 2015

This graph is from Professor Charlotte Leboeuf-Yde, who is a sophisticated researcher in this area.

If you are in your 20s, the chance of some degree of degenerative changes is about 10%.  If you are in your 70s the chance is about 70% or 80%.


When someone develops back pain, it is common to see their condition reported as an aggravation of a pre-existing underlying degenerative change.    


But what does this statement mean? 


There is some correlation between back pain and the presence of degenerative changes, but the correlation is weak or poor....

Dr Mary Wyatt | Published: June 01, 2015

Doctors who conduct pre-employmentDoctors who conduct pre-employment assessments say that around 10% of people report previous back soreness. This is in conflict with the studies which tell us at least 70% of the population have had prior back soreness. 

For many, an individual’s past back pain back pain won’t interfere with their ability to do the job. They also know that if they declare their back pain, they are less likely to get the job. 

Whatever the rules say should happen, many employers believe they can avoid claims by discriminating against people with certain health...

Dr Mary Wyatt | Published: May 19, 2015

The impact of work on a particular health problem can be a contentious issue, and the assessments are often not done well (IMHO).

Disputed claims cause can cause significant grief. They are more likely to be expensive, and return to work rates are worse.  This is a big issue and needs to be addressed, but is not currently being tackled at a policy level.  

Employees feel aggrieved if they believe work has contributed to their condition and their claim is denied. After they have an accepted claim for a few years, receiving advice their claim is being terminated on the basis that...

Dr Mary Wyatt | Published: March 24, 2015

I recently saw a man in his mid-30s who’d worked in steady employment since leaving school, mainly as a sheet metal worker. He developed a back problem, a disc prolapse with sciatica, and underwent spinal surgery. He couldn’t go back to his previous type of work, but youth and many years of work ahead suggests support to get back into a different long-term line of work is a priority.

Yet there had been almost no focus on rehabilitation. A realistic approach would be 6 to 18 months of retraining, moving him into a different line of work: OH&S, a youth worker, AutoCAD work, becoming a...