According to the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, back injuries account for about 40 percent of workplace injuries across all industries. As expected, the percentages are even higher for those whose jobs require frequent lifting, such as nursing assistants, stock clerks and order fillers, maintenance and repair workers and labors/freight, stock and material movers. T
The most common back injuries occurring at the workplace include slips and falls, repetitive lifting, bending and twisting, heavy lifting, construction injuries, prolonged sitting with poor posture, and others. If you are hurt or become ill on the job, you may very well be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
What is workers’ compensation? Workers’ compensation (also known as workers’ comp) is a state-mandated insurance program funded by employers. The program provides benefits to workers who suffer job-related injuries (and illnesses). Each state has its own laws and programs for workers’ comp. However, in general, employees with work-related injuries and illnesses may be eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits that could cover missed wages, medical treatment, ongoing care costs, disability leave, and more.
What should I do if I am injured on the job? First, contact your employer and report the injury. In some instances, your employer may require that you notify the company in writing. Companies that have doctors on staff may ask you to visit their doctors first. Keep in mind that it will be important to prove that the injury took place at the workplace or that is directed related to your job responsibilities.
You have the right to select the physician who treats your injuries. You likely will want to ask your personal physician to assess your injuries. For example, you may have experienced a concussion, broken bones and/or a spinal injury. On average, one in three workplace injuries involves musculoskeletal injuries that impact your body’s ligaments, tendons, bones and nerves.
While a medical doctor is likely best for treating some injuries, a chiropractor specializes in treating musculoskeletal injuries, including back and neck pain, muscle spasms, slipped discs, and more. Chiropractic care is an especially attractive treatment method since it is non-invasive (unlike surgery) and non-habit forming (unlike some prescription painkillers). Chiropractors are specially trained to use therapies that encourage your body’s natural ability to heal, such as pressure point therapy, massage therapy, spinal decompression and/or corrective exercises.