No one plans on getting injured at work. On the contrary, workplaces prefer to keep their employees safe on the job to avoid lost time. But injuries do happen, and some of them can be painful and have long-lasting effects on your health.
Workplace injuries aren’t just bad for business. Severe injuries may affect you for years, and they may cause a serious strain on your finances. You may even be unable to work at a time when you’re facing medical bills for doctor visits and treatments for your injury.
One of the most common and serious workplace injuries is neck injuries. Here are some common neck injuries and how they can happen in the workplace.
Whiplash is one of the most common neck injuries seen in the workplace. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most common neck injuries in general. It affects the muscles of the neck and the spine and is caused by trauma.
When your head and neck are thrust forward more quickly than the rest of your body, it damages the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of your neck and spine. The symptoms of whiplash can range from mild pain and tenderness, headaches, and stiffness to numbness and weakness in your neck and back.
The symptoms of whiplash aren’t always more severe in the case of a serious accident. For example, some people have experienced severe whiplash after a minor fender bender. However, if you experience symptoms of whiplash after a work accident, notify your employer immediately and follow protocol to see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.
Repetitive Strain Injury
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is common in many workplaces. It’s the type of injury that affects anyone, from those with relatively sedentary jobs to people working in more high-risk settings.
An RSI is an injury that occurs over time with repetitive motions. For example, sitting at a desk and typing for hours every day can cause an RSI. Working on an assembly line can, too. Any repetitive motion that puts a strain on your neck or back can eventually damage the muscles and lead to an RSI.
Because an RSI can develop over time, you might find it difficult to pinpoint exactly when or how it occurred. If you feel pain or tenderness in your neck while completing certain activities, talk to your doctor. They will ask you about your home activities and work to determine how you developed the RSI. Then, they’ll recommend the best treatment.
Treatments for RSI may include changing the way you do your job. However, your employer should make adequate adjustments so you can continue to do your job safely.
Most people think of the lower back when they think of herniated discs, but this type of injury can also affect the neck. A herniated disc is often the result of wear and tear on the discs in your back. But they can also be caused by a fall or other sudden injury.
Herniated disc pain often occurs in the arm and shoulder area of the body. For example, a sharp or burning pain that shoots down your arm when you cough is sometimes a sign of a herniated disc. In addition, imaging tests such as x rays and other scans can confirm the presence of a herniated disc.
Treatment for a herniated disc may include pain medications, physical therapy, or even surgery. Unfortunately, depending on how bad the damage is, you may struggle with pain from the injury for years.
Straining a muscle can lead to a pinched nerve in your neck. When the muscle is sprained or strained, it presses against the nerve, causing pain. Bones and tendons can also press against the nerves. The condition can cause pain that radiates down your spine, and it is often quite painful.
If you ignore a pinched nerve, it could worsen, leading to other nerve-related problems such as neuropathy and carpal tunnel. Sometimes rest and anti-inflammatory medication can help, but a doctor may recommend other treatments.
Sprains and Strains
Neck sprains and strains are common neck injuries, especially among workers who have physically demanding jobs. A sprain or a strain may heal just fine on its own, but if you continue to work with one of these minor injuries, you could cause more severe damage to your neck or spine.
You can treat many sprains and strains with rest and anti-inflammatory medications. In addition, your doctor may recommend a neck collar or brace and reduced physical activity for a while.
Don’t Ignore Neck Injuries In the Workplace
If you get injured on the job, your employer has certain responsibilities. Your health and safety are essential, and even a minor neck injury can lead to more significant problems later on. Therefore, always report work injuries to your employer immediately.
Minnesotan construction workers are tough and dedicated, but that alone doesn’t protect them from workplace injury. The UCWCP is an excellent alternative to the state offered reporting program and sees many of these injuries on a regular basis.
Even though workplace accidents are common, that doesn’t mean you have less to lose. Letting these incidents go without seeking workers comp can result in lost wages, medical debt, and even being unlawfully let go because of your injury. Don’t let that happen to you!
Hiring a workers compensation lawyer is the best bet for navigating the hard after effects and guaranteeing your financial, physical, and mental well being.
At Sundquist Law Firm, we specialize in getting Minnesota construction workers the justice they deserve. If you’ve been injured on the job, contact Sundquist Law Firm today and get compensated for your injuries.