Work-Related Back Injuries: 3 Common Injuries to Look Out For
Contributed by Gerber & Holder Attorneys at Law
How does the saying go? Lift with your…legs.
Yet improper lifting, which usually involves using your back to lift instead of your legs, is still one of the biggest causes of back injuries in the workplace.
While the causes and types of back injuries in the workplace are numerous, we’ve found the most common of these injuries to be back strain, back sprain and herniated discs.
Back Injury #1: Strain
When you’re talking about an injury to a back tendon or muscle, you’re talking about a back strain. Muscles and tendons can be pulled and even torn as the result of a back injury in the workplace.
Not using proper lifting techniques and attempting to lift loads that are too heavy can be culprits, and doing these improper techniques repetitively can turn your one-time injury into a chronic, long-term injury.
Back Injury # 2: Sprain
How does a back sprain differ from a back strain?
While back strain involves muscles and tendons, a back sprain involves the stretching or tearing of ligaments. Sudden twists of the body, falls or any other action that causes a joint to move out of its normal position. This results in stretching and possible tearing.
Back Injury #3: Herniated Disc
Slipped, herniated, bulging, ruptured…There are so many ways to describe the injuries that can happen to the discs in your spine. Injuries occur when the disc tissues break down, or they move, causing bones to press on nerves. This type of injury often causes radiating pain or weakness in your back and down your legs.
Workplace activities that could lead to a herniated disc include lifting with your back instead of your legs and any awkward twists or positions you put your body in.
The tricky thing about workplace back, neck and spine injuries is that symptoms don’t always appear in the immediate aftermath of an accident. While some people may suffer immediate symptoms of pain and swelling, others might not know anything is wrong until hours, days, or weeks after the incident.
Unfortunately, any delay in filing a workers’ compensation claim will likely be viewed as suspicious to insurers and possibly your employer. This is why, when it comes to workplace back injuries, it pays to hire a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney who has your back when it comes to getting you the compensation owed.