No one wants to suffer an injury while on the job, but it can and does happen—sometimes much more easily than workers may expect. These risks are a large part of why workers’ compensation systems exist: to help manage the risk and provide for workers hurt while on duty. What are some of the most common injuries individuals face at work?
In many cases, these injuries have to do with the back. Being aware of the risks can help to improve worker vigilance in guarding against injury while making it easier to recognize when something is not right.
Perhaps the most common of workplace injuries, many workers experience sprains and strains in the muscles of the back each year. Improper lifting form is the most common cause.
Strains can be severe but don’t often result in lasting damage since this type of injury is caused merely by an over-extension or overuse of the affected muscle. Sprains, though, can involve the tearing of ligaments and are often more severe. Sprains can occur when a worker is trying to lift too much quickly or as a result of other workplace trauma.
In between each of the vertebrae in your spine is a soft pad of cartilage called a disc. Not only does each disc help cushion your spine from impacts, but discs are also what you use to bend and straighten your back.
Severe strain over time can cause these discs to “slip,”; protruding from the spine and pressing onto sensitive nerves. While this condition often causes acute pain, slipped discs can also become a chronic concern and, in some cases, will require surgery to fully correct.
A common side effect of a herniated disc is a “pinched nerve.” A pinched nerve in the back occurs when a nerve becomes compressed by an outside force. This catalyst can be a slipped disc, or it can be the result of bony protrusions from the spine, among other conditions.
Sciatica is one common condition that results from pinched nerves, sending pain shooting down into the leg. Radiating pain is often one of the telltale signs of this condition.
While many people think of RSIs as wrist-related conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, they can occur in the back as well. Consider a loading dock worker in a warehouse, for example, who must consistently bend down, lift, and stack boxes at or above chest height for weeks at a time. The muscles in the back can weaken and become painful as a result of an RSI while increasing the worker’s risk for sprains, strains, and disc issues.
Here are a few reasons why you should choose Redefine Healthcare for all your workers’ compensation issues.
When an employee sustains an injury at work, it is important for him or her to see a doctor right away for several reasons. Even if the injury seems minor, getting appropriate medical care promptly is essential.
First, early treatment gives an employee the best possible chance of a full recovery—a priority for employees, their families, and their employers. Second, waiting too long to seek treatment creates a larger challenge for employers and insurance companies in determining whether the injury or medical condition is work-related. “Toughing it out” is one of the biggest mistakes that people make when they get hurt at work. Doing so can impede recovery and affect the benefits that workers’ comp coverage provides.
We make time for same-day appointments to help people dealing with workers’ comp claims get the care they need when they need it.
An injured employee dealing with the workers’ comp process often has a lot to juggle: scheduling and attending doctor’s appointments or hospital visits, obtaining necessary prescription medications and medical equipment, and participating in regular physical therapy sessions, for example. Our dedicated workers’ comp liaison is there to assist everyone involved–the employee, the employer, the doctors, and the insurance company–with seamless communication.
This person helps by serving as a point of contact for all parties, providing information to insurance adjusters, validating the information provided by the worker, and confirming treatment authorization and doctors’ visits. Workers’ comp can be complicated, and having a dedicated liaison trained to handle these cases is a huge help.
We focus on non-surgical, interventional treatments whenever possible because of their advantages over traditional surgical procedures. Non-surgical interventional treatments are typically less costly than surgery; they also have shorter recovery times and fewer risks. Examples of these types of treatments include physical therapy, epidural injections, nerve blocks, biofeedback, and education on lifestyle changes. We tailor treatment to the individual patient and always do everything that we can to treat the problem effectively using non-invasive, non-surgical methods.
If you suffer a work-related back injury, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation to offset the cost of treatment and missing work due to pain. If you suspect you’ve hurt your back, speak to a doctor without delay to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. In the meantime, take care to observe good habits that can reduce the risk of workplace back injuries, such as proper lifting procedures and regular rest breaks.
Dr. Eric D. Freeman is a top-rated, best-in-class pain management doctor. He is a nationally recognized pain relief specialist and is among the top pain care doctors in New Jersey and the country. He is an award-winning expert and contributor to prominent media outlets.
Dr. Eric D. Freeman has been recognized for his thoughtful, thorough, modern approach to treating chronic pain. He has been named a “top pain management doctor in New Jersey” and one of “America’s Top Physicians” for advanced sports injury treatments.
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