Injuries to the back and spine are the most common injuries in the workplace. Many workers experience a lower back injury some time in their life. In America, more than one million workers suffer from lower back injuries annually. Therefore, if you’re experiencing back injuries in the workplace, you are not alone.
Also, lower back injuries come with mild, sharp, or mind-numbing pain. Experiencing lower back injuries is not only painful. It can be debilitating as well. Lower back injuries require professional medical treatment for healing to take place.
Additionally, injuries to the lower back may lead to brief impairment, short or long-term difficulties that may not be easy to resolve. When a worker gets injured in the lower back at work, the topmost question on their minds is, can I get workers comp for my wound?
Common Types of Back Injury
Various back injuries can happen in the workplace. Depending on their jobs’ nature, the average worker will have lower back injuries sooner than later. That’s why you must have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Below are the most common types of lower back injuries:
- Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is when your spinal canal narrows, leading to nerve pain due to pressure to the spinal cord. Naturally, Spinal stenosis can happen, but particular work injuries can aggravate it.
When you have a back or spinal injury where a nerve is also injured, the nerve injury leads to a numbness and tingling sensation all over the body. Sometimes, Sciatica can cause pains in your arms and legs.
People, who have worked years where they have to do the heavy lifting for long periods, often suffer from Sciatica, especially if they didn’t have the right equipment or were not doing the heavy lifting right.
- Spine Fracture
Spine fracture is when one or more vertebrae in our spine fractures. The location of the fracture along the spine will determine where the pain and discomfort will be. Sometimes, spine fracture can affect the nerve, thereby mimicking the pain and discomfort of Sciatica.
- Sprain or Strain of the Back Muscles
Muscle strain or sprain is a prevalent back injury. Ordinarily, the strain or sprain will resolve fast. Sometimes when the Strain or sprain continues, it can cause pain and affect movement.
Causes of Lower Back Injury
There are several causes of back injury depending on your occupation. However, below are the most common causes of a lower back injury.
- Operation of heavy equipment
- Heavy manual labor
- Long-distance driving
- Strain to the muscle or ligament
- A ruptured or bulging disc
- Consistent twisting and bending while working
- Trauma or pre-existing back injury
- Whole-body vibration from using of Tractors or driving
- Psychological factors like work-family life balance, hostility in the work environment, and job security contribute to back injuries.
How Often Do Lower Back Injuries Occur at the Workplace?
Lower back injuries are prevalent in the workplace. They affect both factory workers, manual laborers, and even office workers.
In the U.S, 80% of the working population will suffer a lower back injury at one point in their active life. Less than 1% of the 80% have severe pre-existing medical conditions like bone cancer, equine cauda lesion, trauma, etc., and fewer than 5% have prolapsed discs.
Older workers and females are at greater risk of a lower back injury in the workplace. Females who work for 41-45 hours weekly and more aged people working in non-standard working environments are also high-risk. Also, young workers who put in about 60 hours per week are more likely to get injuries to the lower back.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says about 38% of all musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace involve lower back injuries.
Lower back injuries in the workplace have the following consequences:
- Reduced income
- Permanent impairment
- Job loss or career change
- Lost wages
- High medical bills
- Constant or future need for medication treatment
- Anxiety and depression
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Dependence on disability benefits for life
How Much Is the Workers’ Compensation Pay-Out for Lower Back Injury?
The amount of pay-out varies depending on the severity of the injury, surgery, medical treatment cost, etc. The amount often given for workplace lower back injuries ranges from $45,000 to $500,000.
Data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states employers’ average pay-out for lower back injuries is between $40,000 to $80,000. The pay-out includes payments for medical treatment, rehabilitation, wage loss payments, and physical therapy.
Contact a Workers Compensation Lawyer at Mike Bell Injury Law
Sometimes workers’ compensation claims for lower back injuries can get denied. Having a workers comp lawyer will save you time, energy, and the stress attached to filing and getting claims for your wound. Contact us at 1Charlotte for a free case review.