Work-related back injuries and surgeries: What you need to know

No one shows up at work expecting to sustain a serious injury. People hope to perform their job well, earn their pay and head home to their families. Sadly, every day workers across the state of Tennessee end up severely hurt while working. One of the most painful injuries a worker can sustain is a serious back injury. They are common to people in a number of fields.

As you might imagine, those who work in factories, manufacturing and similar fields can injure their backs easily. Lifting, turning and standing all day can lead to a host of issues in the back. Those who drive for a living, who sit at a desk all day or who work in health care are also at risk of back injuries that can make working and everyday life quite painful.

Back injuries occur for a number of reasons

Typically, you can break down the causes of back injuries into two major groups. The first is repetitive stress. Sitting for long periods of time, slouching or having poor posture when standing for long times, regularly lifting items or pulling heavy objects can all result in serious back injuries. Wear over time to the joints, muscles and connective tissue can build up, causing increasing pain and diminishing function.

The other major cause of back pain is a sudden traumatic event. Lifting something too heavy can herniate a disc in your back. Falling, slipping, car accidents, a blunt force injury to the back, neck or head, or even a penetrating injury, such as when debris punctures your back, could all cause spinal injury. Whatever the root cause, back pain can quickly cause issues with performing your job and even performing basic tasks of self-care, such as dressing yourself or showering.

Many people require surgery for serious back injuries

For some people with minor back injuries, rest, pain medication and physical therapy can help them return to full function in time. For others, however, with serious injuries, surgery is necessary. There are many kinds of back surgeries, which are as diverse as the sources of potential back and spinal injuries. These surgeries all have several things in common, however.

They are expensive and require rehabilitation and time off of work. For those who depend on their income to pay their bills and retain health insurance, a back injury could seem like a potential financial nightmare. Thankfully, if you sustained your back injury at work, you will likely receive workers' compensation benefits.

Reporting the injury to your employer as soon as possible is important to protecting your right to this insurance coverage. Similarly, seeking adequate medical care and filing a claim in a timely manner are also important. If you hurt your back at work and now need surgery, you deserve the benefits of workers' compensation while you convalesce.

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