Back in the Saddle: Overcoming Work-Related Spinal Injuries, Back Pain

Back pain is the leading cause of work-related disabilities in people under 45-years-old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Work-related spinal, disc and back injuries that cause severe back pain are all too common. It is important for workers to know how to take control and decrease the risk of these types of injuries and back pain while performing typical work duties. Some of these injuries may be too serious for an individual to return to work, making workers' compensation benefits necessary to help make ends meet.

Back Injury Facts

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over one million workers sustain back injuries annually. Spinal and other back injuries account for one in every five injuries or illnesses occurring in work environments. The CDC recently reported that one in four adults have suffered low back pain, which was painful enough to prevent them from finishing some daily work duties, at some point during the last three months. The CDC also estimates that the cost of back injuries in the U.S. each year can range anywhere from $20 to $50 billion.

Pain in the Back

Causes of back pain among workers vary. Typically accidents that cause trauma to the spine like slips, falls or other collisions result in severe back pain. Repetitive tasks like lifting and twisting can also injure the spine and cause serious pain in the back. Other causes may be poor posture while completing work activities, being too physically out of shape to perform more difficult work functions and working under stressful conditions where muscles are tense. Aging and other bone or muscle issues like osteoarthritis may also cause back pain.

See a Doctor

The first step to take control of back pain is to visit a back specialist and get a diagnosis of what is causing the back pain and how to manage it during the work day. Keeping a doctor's note that outlines your back pain medication and pain management needs may be helpful. Next workers with back injuries and pain should ask for workstation or activity modifications to reduce pain and aid in productivity. Finally, people who suffer back pain while performing daily work duties should be their own best advocates for what tasks they can or cannot do.

Back to Work

Spinal injuries like bulging or ruptured discs, repetitive stress injuries and other causes of back pain are serious matters. For some workers, it may become too painful to return after an injury that causes daily acute or chronic back pain or leads to a partial or complete disability. When this happens, evaluation to determine eligibility for workers' compensation may be warranted or necessary to seek coverage for medical treatment costs, lost wages and further rehabilitation expenses related to the injury or resulting back pain.

If you currently have severe back pain that is related to a workplace injury and are ready to explore or apply for workers' compensation, contact an experience workers' compensation attorney for help. A lawyer who knows how to investigate work-related accidents and advocate for your spinal injury and back pain needs can assist you in recovering the workers' compensation benefits you need.