A work-related back injury can change your life. Even minor back pain can make daily tasks like bending over difficult and painful. In 2020, there were 33,800 non-fatal workplace injuries in Alabama. These cases resulted in 2.6 out of every 1,000 workers missing days or transferring jobs due to injuries.
A back injury can leave you on bedrest for weeks, prevent you from returning to work, and interfere with your daily activities and hobbies.
Explore the steps you can take to protect your back at work. If you have been the victim of a workplace injury that has left you with back pain, contact the Montgomery work injury lawyers at The Vance Law Firm.
Why Back Injuries Are So Disruptive
While most back pain from injuries will go away within 12 weeks, up to 33% of people who suffer back injuries develop chronic back pain. These injuries are also expensive; the direct costs of back pain are estimated to be $50 to $90 billion annually in the U.S.
Factors like age, weight, and overall health can affect back pain. But many back and spine injuries occur due to bad working conditions, poor workplace safety, or accidents at work. Workplace back and spine injuries can also happen because managers encourage unsafe practices or workers perform tasks for which they didn’t receive adequate training.
Types of Back Injuries Related to Work
If you experience a back injury at work, it may be due to an accident like a slip and fall. These types of injuries are also common in workers who perform activities with repetitive motions or from inactivity, such as sitting in one position during their shift.
Workplace back injuries include:
- Sciatica is a pain that travels along the sciatic nerve and affects the back, hip, and outer side of the leg. It occurs when a bone spur or a herniated disk compresses the sciatic nerve in the lower back.
- Spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of spaces within the spine, which puts pressure on spinal nerves. This vertebrae compression is generally caused by wear and tear over a long period.
- Lumbar strains and sprains. Lumbar Strains and sprains are among the most common causes of lower back pain. They come from injuries to the tendons or muscles of the lower back.
- Compressed, bulging, or herniated discs. The spinal column has a series of discs that cushion the vertebrae from trauma. If compressed, herniated, or bulged due to injury, they can press into a nerve, causing irritation and increased pain. These injuries can lead to sciatica and other chronic conditions over time.
Common Causes for Injuries at Work
The most common causes of workplace injuries involve actions you perform during your daily tasks. You may be more likely to suffer from a workplace injury if you work in manual labor, like construction or factory work, due to activities like heavy lifting or repetitive movements. However, you can still suffer a back injury if you work in an office due to poor lumbar support while sitting.
The most common causes of back injuries at work include:
- This involves exerting too much force on your back while performing your job, including lifting or moving heavy objects.
- If your job involves repeating specific movements, especially rotating or twisting your spine, you can injure your back over time.
- If you have a desk or sedimentary job, the lack of movement throughout the day can contribute to back pain. These injuries are more likely if you have poor posture or sit in a chair all day with improper or inadequate back and lumbar support.
To avoid back injuries at work, try to:
- Lift objects correctly. If your job involves lifting objects, wear proper protective equipment like a brace, and lift all objects in a straight direction without twisting or rotating. Lift with your legs, maintaining a tight stomach and a straight back.
- Modify repeated tasks. If your job involves a repeated activity, try to modify the movement to avoid injuries caused by repeated actions. For example, use a different side of your body, perform stretches throughout your shift, or use equipment to help you vary your body’s motions.
- Good posture. If your job involves sitting, posture is crucial. Use a chair with good lumbar support and set a chair height that allows your feet to rest flat on the floor. Remove all objects from your pockets, particularly anything in your back pockets, like wallets or phones.
- Know your body. If you experience pain or discomfort while at work, take note of the activity, and speak with your doctor about how to modify the action to prevent pain.
Proving Your Back Pain Is Work-Related
When filing a workers’ compensation claim for a back injury, you must prove the injury occurred at work. Hire a work injury lawyer with The Vance Law Firm to gather the following evidence to support your claim:
- Signed doctor’s note stating the nature and cause of your injuries.
- Witness information from co-workers establishing if there were any harmful practices or the circumstances of a traumatic event.
- Security footage confirming your testimony and showing the exact nature of the injuries or work conditions.
Contact The Vance Law Firm Work Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Contact The Vance Law Firm today if you have been injured in a workplace accident or developed chronic back pain due to job-related duties. We can help you get the compensation you deserve for a spinal injury you incur while on the job.
Contact us to arrange a free consultation to speak with an attorney who will help you understand your case, gather the information you need, and get a settlement to help you recover from your injury.