Workers’ Compensation For Back Injuries
Whether you are sitting in front of your computer screen or lifting heavy objects all day, many professions can take a toll on your body, particularly your back. That’s why it’s no surprise that back injuries are one of the most common ailments reported by employees in their workers’ comp claims.
No matter how severe your back injury, this kind of pain can greatly impact your day-to-day activities. If you need help handling a back-injury claim, the Law Offices of Andrew B. Shin can help.
What Causes Back Pain At Work?
Back disorders can develop gradually or occur as a result of a single, traumatic event. Whether they come on overtime or all at once, they are typically caused when the muscles, tendons or disks in your back or spine are overextended or exhausted.
Factors associated with workplace back disorders include:
- Poor design of job or workstation
- Stressful working conditions, such as staying in one position for too long
- Poor posture while sitting or standing
- Bent or constrained posture
- Lifting, pushing, pulling or carrying objects
- Repetitive and/or heavy lifting
- Twisting or bending while lifting
- Poor footing or forceful movement while lifting
- Vibration in trucks, equipment or commercial vehicles
If you are under any of the conditions at work, consider finding remedies before you develop a back injury.
In the event that your job has already led to a back injury, remember that you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation.
Types Of Back Injuries
The entire area from your neck to your pelvis is referred to as your back, and it contains bones, muscles and other important tissues.
Back pain can result from a number of different injuries, but the most common are:
- Sprains and strains
- Herniated discs
- Fractured or broken vertebrae
Sprains occur when your ligaments, which are the tissues that connect your bones to your joints, are stretched or torn. While injuries like a sprained ankle or wrist or common, a sprained back can lead to further complications.
Strains happen when your tendons, which connect your muscles to your bones, are stretched or torn. If you overexert the tendons in your back, you can incur an immediate strain, but if you overwork them, a strain might develop over time. People frequently strain their backs and hamstrings.
Herniated discs, or slipped disks, refer to ruptured disks in your spine, which is made up of 26 vertebrae with soft disks in between. When you overexert your spine, your fragile disks can leak their jelly-like contents into your back and irritate nearby nerves, thus causing pain. Sometimes, disks heal with rest and pain medication, but other times, surgery and/or physical therapy may be required.
Fractured or broken vertebrae literally result in a broken back. When the fragile vertebrae we mentioned above are cracked in a fall or other traumatic incident, the broken bones can put pressure on your spinal cord and cause significant pain. Sometimes, overworked vertebrae become compressed or burst. In any event, you will need rest and medical treatment. Often, patients with affected vertebrae wear an external brace to help stabilize their spine.
If you experience any of the back injuries above, make sure to pursue prompt medical attention.
You should also report your ailment to your employer right away and file a workers’ compensation claim if the injury occurred at work.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Back Injury?
The most common sign of a back injury is back pain. Still, other symptoms can indicate a back disorder.
Watch for the following signs and symptoms:
- Your back area is sore to the touch
- Your pain worsens when you move, cough, sneeze or laugh
- You are stiff or have difficulty moving
- It is hard for you to stand up straight
- You are experiencing muscle spasms on either side of your spine
- Obvious bruising or swelling
- Pain that radiates down one or both legs
If you suspect you have a back injury, go to the doctor as soon as you can.
Workers’ comp should cover your initial appointment and the majority of your care if you sustained the injury at work.
If You Hurt You Back At Work, Our Experienced San Jose Legal Team Can Help
If you need help getting through the claims process or holding providers accountable to their good faith agreements, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Andrew B. Shin.
Our attorneys have been serving injured victims throughout Northern California for over 25 years and are dedicated to representing workers across the state.