Aside from home, people spend most of their time in the workplace. But whether they work full- or part-time shifts sitting at a desk or lifting heavy equipment, every person is at risk for back injuries.
Back injuries are the most common type of workplace injury, and they can have long-term effects that greatly hurt a person’s life. They can cause lost time from work and even permanent disability. Here, we’ll tell you some things you may need to know to help manage a back injury and file for workers’ compensation.
Causes of Back Injuries
As previously mentioned, everyone is at risk for back injuries—no matter where they work. Common causes for this type of injury include:
- Bending, twisting, crouching, and stooping
- Carrying heavy materials awkwardly or uncomfortably
- Driving long distances or over rough pathways
- Fatigue and stress
- Lifting bulky or heavy items
- Poor posture as you sit
- Repetitive motions
- Slips and falls
- Stretching, reaching, and twisting
- Working beyond your maximum abilities and physical limits
Types of Back Injuries
When you think of an injury, you may think of something like a broken bone. But, serious back pain may be from an injury that is not easy to see, or fix. MRIs are not 100% accurate, and they do not show pain. Back injuries can involve the nerves that go from your spine to other parts of the body. So, you may have pain going down a leg, or numbness in the toes that can be a sign of back injury. These injuries may require a visit to more than one specialist to figure out. Common types of back injuries include:
- Bulging or herniated discs
- Fractured or broken vertebrae
- Lower, mid, and upper back strain
- Pinched nerve roots, called radiculpathy
- Shifted spine that locks out of place; spondylolisthesis
- Spinal cord damage
If you sustain a back injury, you may experience the following:
- Constant, dull aching
- Difficulty controlling or passing urine
- Intermittent, sharp pains
- Numbness in your back or the surrounding areas
- Pain in your upper, mid, or lower back
- Tingling in your arms, fingers, legs or toes
- Unsteadiness when you stand
Should you notice any of these symptoms, visit your doctor as soon as possible. He or she will conduct tests to discover the cause of your symptoms and to officially determine whether or not you have a back injury.
If a doctor diagnoses your condition as a work-related back injury, contact a workers’ comp attorney. Since back injuries are hard to figure out, insurance companies, denied claims are common. Let us carry you through this trying time so you can focus on healing. If you incurred a back injury while at work in Portland, OR, or anywhere else in Oregon, call our Portland office at (503) 226-3664 or our Pendleton office (541) 276-8128, or fill out the form on the right-hand side of this page to schedule an appointment.