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Recovery from neck and back injuries

On Behalf of | Oct 30, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

If your California job requires a lot of body movement during the normal course of duty, you might have days when you return home from work feeling sore. When you’re not sitting behind a desk all day, you may have an increased risk for neck and back injuries, especially if your duties include lifting heavy objects, walking up and down stairs, or climbing in and out of a truck.  

Then again, sitting at a desk doesn’t guarantee that you won’t suffer this (or another) type of injury in the workplace. If an injury occurs to your neck or back areas, you might experience numerous symptoms, such as localized pain, stiffness, tenderness or muscle spasms. It’s important to know how to alleviate discomfort but also to know how to handle any number of issues that may arise during recovery.  

Neck and back injuries can be moderate or severe 

If you are loading or unloading cargo from the back of a truck, you might bend or turn in such a way that you pull a muscle in your neck or back. Injuries like this require time and rest to heal. However, with proper care and treatment (which might include medications to help alleviate pain), it’s usually possible to achieve a full recovery.  

An injury to your neck or back might be more severe, as well. For instance, if there’s an explosion in the workplace, a piece of shrapnel might penetrate your neck, causing a substantial loss of blood. This type of situation would undoubtedly be more of an emergency than having sore muscles. In either case, it’s important to seek medical treatment and to report any new symptoms that may develop in the days or weeks following your injury.  

Numbness, tingling or paralysis suggest severe injury 

If you slip on a wet floor, you might twist your neck or back, causing a lot of pain. A workplace accident that results in symptoms such as a tingling or stinging sensation, numbness or inability to move a certain part of your body suggests that you might have a severe injury.  

It’s best to stay as still as possible if you have suffered a back or neck injury, until you receive transportation to a hospital. Co-workers, rescuers or anyone who comes to your aid can help immobilize your neck and back by using soft items to gently pack each side of your head while you are lying in a supine position.  

Missing time at work during recovery 

It’s not uncommon to have to take time off work when you’ve been involved in an accident that resulted in a neck or back injury. The physician overseeing your care can develop a specific treatment plan for you to carry out at home. A more severe injury might necessitate admission to a hospital. Missing time at work could cause financial distress and make it difficult to make ends meet during recovery.  

California workers and those in other states may navigate the workers’ compensation system in order to request benefits that can help cover medical expenses and replace lost wages. 



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