Work-Related Back Pain in Heavy Equipment Operators and Delivery Drivers

Dr. Solomon Kamson of Spine Institute Northwest (SINW) in Bothell, Washington frequently treats patients who have suffered back injuries from performing work that taxes the body, especially the lower back. These workers, which include delivery drivers and heavy equipment operators, are exposed to more risk factors that may lead to back pain and musculoskeletal disorders such as extended hours sitting in awkward positions, exposure to vibration, and being in non-natural positions for hours at a time. Work-related injuries (such as back disorders) are seen as more common in the construction industry for these exact reasons. The National Institute for Occupational Safety has conducted studies to assess the impact of risk factors for workers operating heavy equipment. Traditional open back surgery, while effective at treating injuries, would mean extremely complicated procedures requiring extended recovery times. Using state-of-the-art minimally invasive techniques, the Spine Institute Northwest can significantly reduce patient downtime after their procedures. Minimally invasive back surgery requires only very small incisions and can be performed in outpatient settings, not requiring extended hospital stays.

Read these testimonials of five different cases where minimally invasive surgery helped them get their lives back when traditional back treatments could not.


Heavy Equipment Operator Penny Schwegel Gets Relief From Sciatic Pain

Penny, who operates the largest excavator for a mining firm in Alaska, believes her sciatica, which had been giving her trouble for nearly a decade, was made worse by the constant vibration from sitting in the machine for more than 12 hours at a time.

Cortisone shots were effective at managing the pain at first, but over time their efficacy wore off. A lumbar fusion procedure at SINW in December 2016 finally gave her the relief she was looking for.

Truck Driver Braun Hudson’s Battle With Paralyzing Back Pain

Braun, a truck driver from Washington who worked 6-days a week doing deliveries, finally felt the effects of his job on his body one day in 2015 when he found that he could not move his legs at all.

Being very skeptical of the merits of continuing pain medications just to manage his pain and traditional open back surgery, he opted for treatment at the SINW instead where Doctor Kamson recognized the gravity of his situation immediately.

“Dr. Kamson was surprised how I was even walking,” Braun recalls. After a lumbar decompression, the pressure on the nerves of his spine was relieved which completely addressed the pain.

Daniel Schamlzried: Herniated Disc Fixed

Years of working tough jobs including logging ,ranching, labor work, mining and truck driving took a heavy toll on Daniel’s back. ¬†Told by doctors that open back surgery was not even a option for him at his age, he did some research on laser spine surgery instead. Diagnosed at SINW with degenerated disc that was causing his pain, a spinal fusion was performed on Daniel’s back.

Against the odds and against the outcomes predicted by other physicians, Daniel was able to find lasting pain relief for his back problems thanks to minimally invasive surgery.

Darrel Lewis – Sciatic Nerve Problem

Repetitive motions from his driving and delivery job such as lifting, pulling, and just getting off and on the truck, coupled with sciatica gradually made Darrel’s pain worse and worse. It got to a certain point where Darrel knew he had to do something, as the pain was affecting his relationship with his family and his ability to be effective at work.

This prompted Darrel to reach out to Spine Institute Northwest where he underwent a minimally invasive procedure for his back. Much to his surprise, the procedure only required a very small incision.

Chris Catron – Years of Intensive Labor Wrecked My Back

Doing heavy labor work while young and supporting a family ate away at Chris’ quality of life. Like many of the other patients at Spine Institute, Chris Catron ignored his back pain until it was too late. And as with other patients, he tried to address the pain through painkillers and physical therapy. His search for a permanent solution led him to Spine Institute Northwest and minimally invasive surgery where Dr. Kamson was able to fix his back through minimally invasive surgery.

Mark Tidball: Two Decades of Pain

Mark had been dealing with pain for almost 20 years prior to his procedure at SINW. His back pain he attributes to a job he held long ago that required some heavy lifting. Having witnessed the good work that Dr. Kamson had performed on his wife, Mark set up an appointment to have his own back looked at.

The source of Mark’s problems turned out to be a collapse of the discs in his lower back – essentially his vertebrae were grinding against each other (bone on bone). A lumbar decompression procedure at SINW addressed his back pain. Of the outcome of his procedure Mark says, “My pain is pretty much non-existent now.”