Back and neck injuries at work are two of the most common causes of workers’ compensation claims. The reason may be because we use these parts of the body a lot more than most people realise. These are the most vulnerable areas of our bodies, often leading to severe back pain and pain from neck injuries.
A neck injury or back injury at work can be debilitating. The human spine and spinal cord are some of nature’s marvels. The spine is strong, long, flexible and durable, but it is not unbreakable, particularly when it comes up against immovable objects in workplace accidents.
About the Neck and Spine
The spine consists of three areas, the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (upper back) and the lumbar spine( lower back). The human spine is the body’s electrical system, whose bones protect crucial bundles of nerves that connect the body to the brain. Suppose the connection is altered or broken in a workplace accident.
In that case, it can have a dire effect on the movement of the person’s entire body, depending on the severity of the injury. A worker can suffer a neck injury or back injury at work in many different ways. Still, the following five common kinds of workplace injuries might occur due to repetitive trauma or one single traumatic event.
1. Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are often the worst result of workplace accidents, causing severe pain and sometimes total paralysis. Spinal cord injuries may result from a traumatic workplace accident, such as a worker falling from a height or an object falling onto a worker’s back or neck.
Serious medical complications can result from a back injury/neck injury in the workplace, including permanent disability due to paralysis. If the back or neck injury was severe, a worker with spinal cord injuries might never be able to work again or be able to return to their usual job.
2. Herniated Disc Injury
Herniated disc injuries are also known as slipped or ruptured discs, or a herniated or bulging disc and this is a common workplace injury, especially where heavy lifting is required. This back injury or even neck injury at work can occur if the vertebrae are displaced by a sudden accident or event or due to repetitive strain. Herniated discs from a back injury at work can mean the soft tissue breaks down and bones press on nerves, causing severe pain.
3. Whiplash Injury
Whiplash is a common term for minor to severe neck injuries. If someone’s head is thrust forward suddenly, it causes the cervical vertebrae in the neck to whip. A car accident can often result in whiplash neck injuries, but they can happen anywhere if a sudden impact jolts the neck.
Despite the belief that the force of the impact must be strong, whiplash neck injuries are common in incidents that occur during surprisingly mild crashes or low speeds. So, whiplash neck injuries in the workplace can occur. The resulting neck injury might cause a stiff neck, numbness, muscle spasms, a reduced range of motion and tingling,
4. Injuries to the Thoracic Spine
Thoracic spine injuries are often a result of high-energy impact or a crushing workplace accident. The rib, mid-back and chest areas corresponding to the back are usually injured in such accidents, causing acute pain that may lead to health complications and lifelong disability. A person with a thoracic spine injury due to a workplace accident needs immediate medical attention, as do any neck or back injuries mentioned here.
5. Injuries to the Lumbar Spine
Lumbar spine injuries occur when a person’s mid to lower back is injured in a workplace accident or is subject to severe muscle strain or injury to the soft tissues. The damage and pain occur where the lower back, hip and stomach muscles support five vertebrae.
If the ligaments and muscles that support the lower back are strained, torn or overextended, the result can be lumbar spine or back injuries at work. The injured person may feel excruciating pain and limited mobility, preventing them from performing daily tasks, including employment.
When Should I Make a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If you have sustained a back injury or neck injury at work, be aware that even if the damage seemed minor at the time, usually with whiplash, the symptoms might take days, weeks, months or years to appear. The workplace injury may also be severe enough to produce pain and life-altering outcomes.
In either case, you should lodge a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible after your workplace accident, which may help you receive compensation to pay medical bills and recover lost wages due to the injury.
If you’ve sustained pain or disability from a workplace accident or you have recently suffered a back or neck injury at work, call our compensation expert lawyers at PK Simpson today on 1300 757 467. Or click on the link http://pk-old-site.digitallink.com.au/contact/ so we can help you start your journey of recovery from your neck pain or back injury at work.
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