Chronic Back Pain is Causing Issues for Employees in the U.S.
What is the #1 cause of disability in America? Lower back pain. Why? Because more and more Americans understand the strain that workplace stress and injuries can put on a back, causing debilitating pain that can be short-term or long-term in nature. Taking a closer look at back pain, common causes, and what you can do if you are an injured employee can help you move forward and get the most out of your case.
Back Pains: A Common Issue
About 80% of adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lives, showing just how prevalent they really are. Lower back pain is actually the most common cause of job-related disability and missed work days in America. Men and women are both affected by lower back pain due to stress or injury in the workplace, which can range anywhere to dull, to constant and sharp, leaving someone incapacitated depending on the severity. If you have been experiencing pain for longer than 12 weeks after an injury, then most of the time your back pain will be dubbed “constant.” In some cases, chronic back pain can be successfully treated, and in others, it will not be, which means that the pain will constantly persist even with medical and surgical treatment.
There are many causes of chronic back pain in workers. Back pain ranges from mild to severe, which can happen for these reasons:
Sprains: Sprains occur due to injuries to the ligaments, muscles, and more in your spine and joints. If you life something and twist at the same time in the workplace, you may be at risk for these injuries. Let’s say that you lifted something in a warehouse that is heavier than you expected. When you bent down to lift the heavy item, you may have strained your lower back muscles. This can cause spasms, pain, and so much more.
Herniated Discs: There can be pain and pressure when the soft tissue between the joints comes out. If you have experienced a fall in the workplace, you may experience a herniated disc.
Bulging Discs: In many cases, bulging discs are due to age; however, if you are doing repetitive motions in the workplace, lifting heavy items, or standing a lot of the time, you may experience bulging discs as well. These injuries are common for those who drive or work on an assembly line all the time.
Fractured Vertebra: If you have received a hit to the back in the workplace, these types of injuries may be commonplace. For example, if you are a construction worker who is hit by a bucket or another item, or you land on your back, you could be at risk.
Spinal Cord Damage: These injuries are usually caused by a severe fall and can be extremely deadly in nature.
What You Can Do
Sometimes, it may not be difficult to prove that conditions in the workplace led to your injuries. Some employers may hear your claim and say that your back pain is just a side effect of growing older. However, if you can prove that your chronic back pain was caused by an accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. One of the best ways to prove that your back pain stemmed from an accident is by speaking to your doctor and receiving their opinion.
As you probably already know, it is sometimes difficult to show that your back pain stemmed from an injury and was not a preexisting factor. You should always notify your employer after an accident, for this reason, so you can show later down the road that your accident caused your injuries. If you need help with your case, we are here for you at the Los Angeles Injury Group. Turn to us and let us help you every step of the way by contacting us at 310-954-7248.