When it comes to back injuries sustained at work, the old saying “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” rings especially true. The pain of a back injury can be debilitating, and it affects everything you do at work and at home.
If you’ve hurt your back in the workplace, you’re not alone. Back injuries are the most frequently reported workplace injury, with more than one million recorded incidents every year. 20% of those back injuries are the result of workplace accidents.
The spine consists of three main sections—the cervical spine, which comprises the neck, the thoracic spine, which stabilizes the mid-back, and the lumbar region, which is the lower back. As Atlanta injury lawyers, we frequently help clients who have sustained workplace injuries to these regions of the spine.
These three regions of the spinal column typically consist of 24 vertebrae, which are separated by spongy discs that allow us to move and re-distribute pressure. These discs are filled with a jelly-like substance that acts as a shock absorber while we perform everyday activities.
With age or injury, the discs that separate each vertebrae begin to degenerate, sometimes resulting in a bulging or herniated disc. When this happens, the soft core of the disc squeezes out or ruptures completely.
Symptoms of disc herniation
Depending on where the injury occurs, the symptoms associated with a herniated disc can vary. These symptoms often include:
- Back spasms
- Difficulty walking
- Chronic back pain
- Numbness or muscle weakness in the legs or feet
Causes of workplace back injuries
Slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of back injuries in the workplace. However, a herniated disc can also result from carrying heavy objects, excessive bending, ladder accidents, or even car accidents.
What to do if you hurt your back at work
If your injury is not life-threatening, you need to report it to your immediate supervisor or union representative immediately. There are forms they are required to file and they will need to take a report about what happened to cause your injury. Learn more about what you should do right away, so that you are able to protect your rights should something occur here: What to do if you sustain an injury at your job in Georgia.
Treating workplace back injuries
No matter what caused your back injury, it is crucial that you visit a doctor and have a thorough medical examination, which may include CT scans, MRIs, or discograms. Depending on the nature and severity of your back injury, you may require simple bed rest, physical therapy, or even surgery.
If you’ve suffered a back injury at work, it’s important that you find out how to receive the benefits that you are entitled to as an employee in the state of Georgia. Call the workers’ comp attorneys at Moebes Law at (404) 354-5432 to schedule your initial free consultation.