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What Should Employees Know about Back Injuries at the Workplace?

Back Injuries Workplace

A back injury can easily disrupt one’s daily life.  Not only can they be quite painful and at times debilitating, but also back pain can last for a lengthy period if not treated properly.  Furthermore, a back injury can occur during almost any activity, especially at the workplace.  Whether the job has physical requirements, such as lifting a patient or walking a salesfloor, or is not as rigorous such as sitting at a desk, the risk of suffering a back injury is still high if one is not careful.

Any damage to the back or spinal cord, whether minor or severe, can be expensive to treat and may need extensive time to heal.  And there is a likely chance that the injury occurred at work; the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics found that almost 20 percent of all work-related injuries or illnesses involve back injuries.  Some back injuries are so life-altering that a person may not be able to return to work at all.

What Causes a Back Injury?

The spine is a complex structure of bones and nerves that controls perhaps the most major functions of the human body.  The nervous system, which is protected by the vertebrae of the spine, sends the signals from the brain to the body that help control the body.  There are also a wealth of muscles and tendons that connect to the spine and help support its function.  Any impact or harm to the spinal cord or any of its associated systems leads to back pain, which could also lead to other injuries.

There are different factors that can cause a back injury.  The following are just a few actions that can hurt the spine:

  • Repetition. Many jobs require workers to perform repetitive movements, such as factory or retail workers. Such movements, like twisting or bending or reaching, can put strain on the spinal column, which will then lead to nerve damage or back pain.
  • Lifting. Back pain occurs when lifting heavy objects because the muscles surrounding the spine tense up, causing improper movement to the vertebrae and disks. The disks are the soft portion in between the vertebrae, and if the vertebrae are damaged or moved incorrectly, the disk then breaks down. This will lead to weakness, numbness, or significant pain in any number of body parts.
  • Falling. Unfortunately, falling or tripping is a common hazard in many occupations, and any fall can damage the back significantly depending on the impact. A spinal fracture is a major injury that can lead to extreme pain, or partial or permanent paralysis.
  • Sitting or standing. It may be shocking to learn that extended periods of sitting or standing can cause painful, degenerative damage to the spine. This is especially a concern for those that spend most of the workday sitting in front of a computer.  This can cause bad posture, which will lead to back pain.  Standing for too long can cause back pain as well, particularly if someone’s posture is slouched or their neck is too far forward, which also causes vertebrae to strain.

Common Back Injuries

Any injury suffered at work must be treated immediately and reported to the employer or human resources department, especially back pain.  If left untreated, an injury to the spinal cord will often lead to a painful and extensive recovery and may be permanent or life threatening.

A wide range of occupations have workers who have suffered back pain, such as construction workers, nurses, doctors, retail workers, factory workers, or even those at a desk.  In fact, almost eight percent of the entire United States population suffer from back pain daily.  The most common back injuries suffered are:

  • Whiplash
  • Herniated disks
  • Neck or muscle sprain
  • Cervical fractures or dislocation
  • Fractured vertebrae

It is important to note that a back injury can occur long after an accident, highlighting the importance of immediate medical attention.  Getting an early diagnosis of an injury is imperative to have the victim’s damages and lost wages covered should they lose time at work and need to file a Workers’ Compensation claim.  It is also highly recommended to contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer immediately.

Exton Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Help Workers Receive Help for a Back Injury Suffered at Their Job

There are few injuries in the workplace that can be as stifling as a back injury.  Damage to the back can lead to days filled with agony, often causing one to lose time at work.  If you have suffered a back injury at work and need to file a claim, it is best to contact the Exton Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC right away.  Our skilled and knowledgeable lawyers will review your case and get you the best possible compensation to cover your needs.  Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation today. We are located in Exton, Pennsylvania, where we serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.