Back pain is one of the most common reasons to see a doctor or miss work. Back injuries can cause chronic pain that limits a worker’s ability to move. A severe back injury can mean the loss of the ability to work for a living or even to handle simple daily tasks.
The normal wear and tear of life can lead to inflammation in the spine that causes pain, particularly in the lower back. Back problems are frequently cited as among patients’ most common medical complaints.
The prevalence of back pain can make it harder to obtain a workers’ compensation settlement for a back injury sustained on the job. This is especially true for cumulative back injuries caused by long-term stress and strain involved with job duties. Employers and their workers’ comp insurers may argue that the employee’s injury is due to aging or factors other than the employee’s job.
The workers’ compensation attorneys of Joye Law Firm can help you seek the full benefits you are due for a disabling back injury that is work-related. Since 1968, Joye Law Firm has helped thousands of injured workers in South Carolina obtain the workers’ comp benefits provided by S.C. law. Our attorneys can help you file a claim or gather the medical evidence and expert testimony necessary to appeal a denied claim for a back injury caused by your job.
Contact Joye Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation about the workers’ compensation benefits you may claim. We have offices in Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach and Clinton, S.C., and can meet with you online or come to where you are. Phone 877-941-1019 to learn more now.
Back Injuries in the Workplace
The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. In addition to protecting vital organs and nerve structures, the back supports the weight of the body while allowing movement. The 24 vertebrae of the spine run the length of the neck and back and protect your spinal cord, the main link between your brain and the body’s nervous system. Between each vertebra are spinal discs made of flexible, elastic tissue that hold the spine together, act as shock absorbers and enable flexibility.
Back pain that is not due to disease may be caused by sprained ligaments, strained muscles, ruptured disks, irritated nerves and/or fractured vertebrae. This may be the result of a direct blow, a sudden jolt or twisting of your back. It may be the result of years of cumulative stress and strain on the soft tissue of the back. Even working at a desk all day can contribute to back pain, especially if you sit in a chair with not enough back support.
Common accidents that lead to back injuries include:
- Slips, trips and falls
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Being hit by objects, materials, tools or debris
- Being pushed against a structure or object
- Being trapped between or crushed by structures or objects
- Lifting heavy materials
Injuries that result from long-term stress or sudden strain on soft tissue are known as musculoskeletal disorders or ergonomic injuries.
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) may be defined as including sprains, strains, tears or back pain caused by bodily reaction to:
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says work-related musculoskeletal disorders that result in days away from work most commonly involve the back alone. Each year, musculoskeletal disorders involving the back account for more than one-third of all work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
Workplace back injuries occur in all occupations.
They are often reported by:
- Health care and social assistance employees, in particular registered nurses and nursing assistants
- Housekeepers, janitors, cleaners, sanitation workers
- Construction workers
- Maintenance and repair workers
- Manufacturing employees
- Retail and wholesale trade stock clerks and order fillers
- Retail sales personnel
- Transportation and warehousing freight, stock and materials movers
- Delivery services drivers
- Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers