While any injury is possible to sustain on the job, one of the most common is hurting your back. It can happen in any industry, from ones that require constant lifting to those that demand sitting at a desk all day.
Because it is so universal, it can be easy to brush it off as just something you have to deal with if you work. However, a back injury can have lifelong negative consequences, so do not take it lightly.
The muscles and bones in your back help you with various bodily movements. When they suffer damage, you may have difficulty with more than just getting up and down or bending over. You face additional challenges with walking and sleeping, as well as dealing with chronic pain, depression and the side effects of medication.
Risk of re-injury
Perhaps most dangerous it the risk of re-injuring the area. This can happen if you return to work too soon or disregard your doctor's treatment plan. One study found that other risk factors include gender (males being likelier to get hurt again), a history of previous injuries and repeated vibration to your entire body. Recovery the second time around may take longer or not occur at all. You may then be unable to ever re-enter the workforce.
The silver lining is that you can file a workers' compensation claim to receive financial reimbursement for medical expenses and loss of income. Bizfluent shares that the average settlement in 2013 was $34,000 for upper back injuries and $40,000 for lower. The amount went up when multiple body parts were involved, the injury was the result of a slip and fall or a car accident, the injury included fractures or crushed bones, or the accident led to permanent disability.
For all these reasons, it is imperative to seek medical attention immediately after an accident on the job, to follow doctor's orders until you recover and to pursue compensation.