Many occupations require some manner of lifting, pushing, or pulling for the worker to properly perform on the job. But regardless of whether the work involves heavy objects, back, neck or spine injuries can and do occur.
Often, a worker will complain of back pain and it may at first, appear to be only lumbar or lower back strain. The worker may put up with the pain for a long period of time, assuming the discomfort will eventually go away. Sometimes this occurs, but other times, an MRI or other diagnostic test is necessary to rule out a more serious condition, such as a fracture, a herniated disk (ruptured disk) or a bulging disk. The worker may complain of a radiating nerve pain, which may include numbness, weakness or tingling, called radiculopathy (nerve impingement). Treatment for such a work injury can range from conservative treatment, to lumbar injections (epidurals), to surgical intervention (including such procedures as discectomy, laminectomy, laminotomy and cervical or spinal fusion).
A worker can suffer a compensable workers compensation injury to the neck, back or spine in virtually any type of job, including basic office work. But some of the jobs most at risk for neck, back and spine injuries include: construction workers, carpenters, warehouse workers, truck drivers, sales people, roofers, delivery people, laborers, and factory workers. Such injuries may include:
- Herniated disk
- Nerve damage
- Tendon damage
- Spinal chord impingement