Workplace back injuries can be the result of a variety of factors and accidents and can range from stress fractures to serious joint dysfunctions. Workplace back injuries are the single largest reported workplace accident type in the country, leading to nearly 200,000 injuries every year.
If you have suffered a back injury while at work, contact an experienced and dedicated Charleston workplace back injury lawyer today. An experienced workers compensation attorney can help you to pursue a claim and necessary compensation.
Common Back Injuries
A back injury can be the result of a traumatic event or can develop gradually over time as a result of small microtraumas which are brought on by repetitive activity.
Many back problems, particularly in the workplace tend to be severe because of the slow onset of most back injuries, most workers are not aware of an injury until their symptoms become acute. Common back injuries include:
- Herniated discs – These injuries can occur along any of the 24 bones that make up the spin. These injuries occur when one of the discs, which are cushion-like pads positioned between the vertebrae, move out of position and press a nerve. Repetitive motions, improper lifting techniques, genetics, and even poor posture can cause these injuries
- Lower back strains – The lower back, in particular, is comprised of a complex group of muscles. Lower back strains occur whenever there is damage to any of these muscles or tendons. These injuries are often the result of injury because of bending, lifting, arching, or twisting motions
- Spondylolisthesis – This type of back injury occurs when one of the bones in the spine slides over the bone below it. These injuries can be caused by a number of factors including defective joints, and pushing and pulling heavy objects
- Sciatica – Sciatica injuries commonly occur when a herniated disc, bone spur, or the spine is compressed and presses along the sciatic nerve that runs down the spine and radiates into the lower back and down into the legs
One of the most common types of back pain and injury include those injuries to the lower back, any by some estimates leads to nearly half of all back injuries in the workplace.
Back injuries, unfortunately, can be extremely painful and long-lasting, and many back injuries require workers to miss numerous days of work as well as seek medical attention.
Causes of Back Injuries
As one of the leading causes of workplace injuries, back pain may appear suddenly, or it may develop over time. The back is composed of numerous muscles, tendons, ligaments, and the all-important spinal cord.
Because of the high incident rate of back injuries amongst workers in South Carolina, and across the country, numerous private and government agencies have issues reports and studies indicating the most common causes of back injuries.
Acute back injuries are often the immediate result of improper lifting techniques and or lifting heavy loads that are too heavy for the back to support. Back injuries can also commonly caused by:
- Improper posture
- Poorly designed workstations
- Repetitive motions
- Twisting to move a heavy load
- Carrying heavy objects
Workers Affected by Workplace Back Injuries
As discussed above back injuries are often caused by lifting, pushing, and pulling heavy objects which leads many people to believe that only workers in heavy industries such as construction are prone to back injuries.
Because of the numerous muscles in the back that connect to both the lower and upper body, any worker can sustain a back injury. According to statistics published by the South Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration in conjunction with the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, some workers in every industry are affected, including:
- Health care providers and practitioners
- Law enforcement including correctional officers, police, and sheriff’s officers
- Sales and retail workers
- Tractor-trailer drivers
However, while any occupation and job type can lead to a back injury, workers in heavy industries such as the construction industry are some of the most at-risk workers. This is because not only are construction workers expected to carry and move heavy objects, but they also must do so while their bodies are in awkward and tight spaces.
Contacting a Charleston Workplace Nack Injury Lawyer
If you have suffered a back injury while at work, contact an experienced and dedicated Charleston workplace back injury lawyer today to discuss your injury and how you may be entitled to compensation for your back injury.