Types of work-related back injuries

The back is the part of your body that holds you upright. Many work tasks require a strong, flexible back, and an injury can severely limit what you are able to do. Back injuries can take a long time to recover from.

The back can get injured in a variety of ways. According to the National Institutes of Health, common forms of back injury include sprains, strains, herniated disks and fractured vertebrae.

Sprains and strains are related, but they are not the same. A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament, which connects bones to joints. A strain is a stretch or tear in a muscle or tendon, the tissue that connects muscle to bone. Back sprains and strains can cause pain, swelling, and immobility.

The spine is made of 26 bones called vertebrae, with soft disks providing cushioning in between. When one of these disks ruptures, it is known as herniated. The jelly-like substance leaks, irritating nearby nerves and causing sciatica or back pain. Meanwhile, a fractured vertebra can cause severe pain, curvature of the spine, numbness, weakness and difficulty walking.

Effective treatment for your back injury depends on the nature and location of where you are hurt. Minor injuries can be treated with rest and ice. More serious injuries may require medicine and physical therapy. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

Meanwhile, you are unable to work, and may not be getting any income into the house. Rather than maxing out the credit cards to pay for your bills, workers compensation can help make sure you do not suffer financially for an on-the-job injury.

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