There are many ways you can injure your back at work, and that’s why back injuries represent approximately 20% of all workplace injuries. Each year, one-million workers will hurt their back on the job, and this causes more lost man hours than anything other than the common cold.
There’s a good chance you could hurt your back, too, so it’s important to know what to do if it happens to you.
What to Do if You Are Injured
The very first thing you need to do if your back is injured at work is to take care of your health. Make sure you report your injury to a supervisor or have a trusted coworker do it for you, and then get to a doctor to get checked out.
Some people end up making their injury worse because they don’t want to miss work. This may be because they’re afraid there will be repercussions, they don’t want to look bad, or they don’t want to lose the money.
All workers are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, so don’t let this stop you from going to the doctor. You can click here for a free consultation to review your case if you need more information or if your workers’ comp case is denied. Workers’ comp may cover:
- Up to two-thirds of your lost wages
- Your medical bills
- The cost of transportation to medical appointments
- The cost of therapy
- Any other expenses associated with your injury
You may not think your injury is serious enough to see a doctor, but any back injury has the potential to get worse without treatment.
How Work-Related Back Injuries Happen
The best way to avoid injuring your back is to understand how these injuries happen. You should also always make sure you are wearing the proper safety apparel and that it fits correctly. If you’re doing any of the following, be extremely cautious:
- Heavy lifting
Poor posture can also cause back problems, so you also need to be careful if you sit at a desk all day. Automobile accidents and falls from high places are also common workplace accidents that can cause back injuries.
5 Common Types of Back Injuries
The following types of back injuries are far from the only ways you can hurt your back, but they are the most common.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are one of the most serious types of injuries you can get, and they can cause paralysis. This is also one of the most expensive types of injuries. People with spinal cord injuries may need multiple surgeries and require years of medical treatment.
If one of your vertebrae discs moves out of place, it can cause the soft tissue between your discs to break down. The result will be a herniated disc, which will cause your bones to press on your nerves and cause a lot of pain.
Whiplash is the most common type of back injury you can get at work. This injury can be caused by the force of an impact, and it can cause symptoms that will seriously interfere with your life like headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, stiff neck, fatigue, and even limited mobility.
Thoracic Spine Injuries
Your thoracic spine is the area of your back that goes from your chest down to the bottom of your ribs. Injuries in this area are usually caused by the force of impacts, and it can cause permanent nerve damage.
Lumbar Spine Injuries
Lumbar spine injuries affect your lower back. Sprains or strains in this area can interfere with your ability to perform daily tasks because they can seriously limit your ability to move. These injuries can also be incredibly painful.
It’s important to take any back injury seriously. If you’re hurt, see a doctor to make sure you have an official medical record that documents the injury. You could need this if you end up being involved in a legal case.