If you have ever suffered from a back injury, you know how excruciating they can be. Coupled with being one of the harder injuries to shake, they plague industries and people working in them. Of all workplace injuries, almost 20% – more than 1 million workers – have suffered from a back injury (according to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics). In fact, the only thing that accounts for more lost days of work is the common cold!
More Back Injury Statistics
At some point throughout their lives, lower back pain will be experienced by approximately 80% of adults. Lower back pain can result from a work-related injury. Injuries involving the lower back account for 80% of work-related injuries associated with material handling tasks. Of all the strains and sprains (the largest classification of job-related injuries) that take place on the job, 43% involve the back.
Back pain is, of course, related to other factors besides what you do for a living. Other things that put you at risk for back pain include the following:
- Posture problems
- Being Overweight
A back injury usually happens when you exceed muscle capacity, or the capacity of discs or tendons. There can also be several contributing factors that figure in, rather than just one. Reaching while lifting is a common cause of back strains and sprains.
When it comes to Workers’ Compensation claims, almost 20% of them involve back pain. Some employees who experience this type of pain as a result of a work-related injury are entitled to financial compensation, as long as the problem was not from a pre-existing condition. That is grounds for claim denial.
Chronic Back Pain
If, for longer than six months, you have ongoing back pain, it is considered chronic. Long after the cause of the pain has gone away, the pain can continue because, for weeks, months, or years, the nervous system continues to send pain signals.
Depending on the severity, chronic pain can be debilitating. When back pain is severe, or if it is chronic, it can lead to a classification of being disabled. Adults on Social Security, due to a disabled qualification resulting from back pain, cite numerous causes including spinal stenosis, scoliosis, nerve root compression, herniated discs, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, a degenerative disc order, and more.
If You Are Injured
What should you do if you have a back injury at work? Take the following steps:
- First and foremost, get the immediate treatment needed.
- Make sure that someone notifies your supervisor of the injury.
- Fill out an accident report as soon as possible.
- Additionally, if lost time results, a Workers’ Compensation form may need to be filled out and mailed.
- As follow-up, make sure that all instructions from the treating physician are followed. If required to do so, attend follow-up visits with the physician.
One of the first and smartest things you can do if you are injured on the job is to retain the services of an experienced, knowledgeable attorney that is well-versed in Workers’ Compensation cases.
Cardinal Law Partners believes that no one having suffered a work-related injury, such as a back injury, should go without pay, be responsible for medical bills related to the injury. That’s why we work hard to protect the rights of employees through Workers’ Compensation and other means. Contact us today if you’d like to find out more about what we can do for you in your on-the-job injury situation.