Over 600,000 workers experience a work-related back injury or disorder each year, and 80% of working-age adults will experience a back injury during their lifetimes. The NY workers’ compensation attorneys of Markhoff & Mittman, P.C. are very aware that back disorders are some of the leading causes of work-related disability. While some back injuries are caused by a single event, such as a slip-and-fall accident, most are overwhelmingly caused or complicated by the daily wear and tear on your back from improper lifting techniques, repetitive movements, or lifting loads that are too heavy. These small, cumulative injuries leave you susceptible to, among other things, ruptured or slipped discs, osteoarthritis, and chronic back pain.
How can I prevent a work-related back injury?
Most of us already understand proper lifting technique. We have been trained to lift with our legs, keep the back straight, and avoid twisting or turning. That much is obvious, but what else can you do to protect your back from the small things that cause constant wear and tear? One of the easiest ways to prevent back and spinal disc damage, in addition to proper lifting technique, is to make a few small changes to your daily work habits.
- Avoid lifting/bending when possible. Use a dolly instead of carrying heavy items yourself.
- Stretch. Stretching before and after heavy lifting prepares the muscles and prevents injury.
- Go slow.
- Ask for help. If a load is too heavy, wait until you have help to lift it.
- Reduce the amount of weight you carry. Your spine will thank you for it.
- Take breaks. Taking small breaks in between heavy loads gives your muscles a chance to recover.
- Place items on an elevated surface instead of the ground. A height that is between your shoulders and waist is best. A small difference in the height of a shelf or table can make a huge difference in back pain!
Although back injuries are incredibly common, actually obtaining compensation for a work-related back injury can be a complex and daunting process. If you have sustained a back injury, such as spinal disc damage, or if you suffer from chronic back pain that has left you unable to work, a NY workers’ compensation attorney at Markhoff & Mittman, P.C. can help guide you through the process of getting what you deserve. Contact us today at (866) 205-2415 or toll free at 866-205-2415. Also, let us send you copies of our FREE books, Five Deadly Sins that Can Derail Your New York Workers Compensation Case and The Disability Guys Guide to Your Back.