Dallas DOL Workers' Comp Doctors: Back & Spine Injuries
Back pain is one of the most common and serious musculoskeletal health conditions in the United States workplace today. Not only are workers unable to complete their duties and collect their paycheck, they are also sidelined in life outside of their career – unable to engage in their normal activities, often suffering from chronic pain, and sometimes suffering from related mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
Here are some hard facts about worker back injuries collected by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Each year, more than one million workers suffer a back injury.
- One out of five workers’ compensation claims involves a back injury.
- An estimated 20 percent of all workplace injuries and illnesses is a back or spine injury.
- An estimated 75 percent of back injuries involve lifting.
- A recent study found that one out of three back injuries could be prevented through ergonomics.
At Work Injury MD, our Dallas DOL workers’ comp doctors understand how a back or spine injury can negatively impact every facet of your life, from your job to your home life and to your finances. We also know that many people with chronic back pain have gone from doctor to doctor in frustrating attempts to get the treatment that they need to feel better and regain healthy function.
Our Dallas DOL workers’ comp doctors are also committed to finding the right diagnosis and the right treatment for your acute or chronic back injury. We are also uniquely able to assist workers and federal employees who have suffered back pain on the job, either through an accident or through overuse.
Contact our board-certified DOL physician in Dallas, TX today if you would like to:
- Schedule a consultation.
- Speak with a doctor.
- Get a second opinion.
- Ask a question about workers’ compensation.
- Find out about our services.
- Get back to work.
- Stop your chronic pain.
Common On-The-Job Back Injuries
Outside of work, the most common back issues are the result of traffic accidents, sports, and recreational activities. While on the clock, however, the causes and types of back incidents differ somewhat. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common back injuries among workers in the United States.
- Muscle strains. Most often affecting the lower back, a muscle strain can be caused by any number of events, including overuse and acute events. Most cases of muscle strain improve within a month with help from pain relievers, rest, and physical therapy.
- Lumbar sprains. Back or lumbar sprains involve tearing tissue that connects bone to muscle in the back area. There are 14 ligaments in the back, which help keep your spine functioning and intact. Spraining these ligaments can be very painful and debilitating. These are most often caused by improper lifting or twisting.
- Herniated discs. Also called a bulging disc or pinched nerve, a herniated disc occurs in either the upper or lower spine when disc injuries or degenerations affect the surrounding nerves, causing great pain. Back disc issues can require pain medication, steroid injections, physical therapy, and even surgery.
- Broken back. A broken back takes place when the vertebrae in the upper or lower lumbar region are fractured. Broken backs are almost always the result of an acute injury, such as a fall, a car accident, or an industrial accident. These fractures need immediate medical help and often require surgery. Broken backs may sometimes be fatal.
- Spinal cord damage. The most serious back injury is a spinal cord injury – when the bones of the back are compromised to the point that the spinal cord is damaged or severed. Spinal cord damage can result in partial paralysis, full paralysis, and death.
The Most Frequent Causes Of Back & Spine Injuries At Work
There are two major categories of on-the-job back injuries: acute and chronic. Acute back injuries are the result of a singular accident or incident, such as a fall or an improper lift. Chronic injuries are often the result of repetitive tasks, recurrent over-lifting, and poor lifting techniques, though chronic back pain and chronic back injuries can also result from the improper treatment or healing of an acute back issue.
The four main causes are:
- Improper movements.
- Slip and fall accidents.
- Car accidents.
- Whole body vibration.
It is vital to get help for your back pain or back injury as soon as possible after you begin to notice symptoms, as some untreated back conditions can lead to permanent damage to the vertebrae and nerves.
Successfully Treating Back & Spine Injuries
At Work Injury MD, many of our patients suffer from back pain, either caused by on-the-job accidents or overuse at work. Our Dallas DOL workers’ comp doctors have the skill, knowledge, and experience to help you overcome your health challenges, through careful testing and diagnosis to thoughtful treatments and therapies. With a board-certified doctor on staff, our medical clinic offers a full range of treatments for back injuries, including:
- Pain medications. Depending on the extent of your back pain, we can help guide you to the best treatment, from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to reduce pain and inflammation to stronger prescription narcotic painkillers.
- Lumbar injections. There are a number of options for injections into the back that can help heal injuries and alleviate pain. These include epidural steroid injection, selective nerve root blocks (SNRB), Facet joint blocks, and sacroiliac joint block.
- Physical therapy. After your back pain and injury has been successfully managed, our job is to focus on regaining your strength, regaining your range of motion, and preventing future injuries. This includes a specific set of exercises depending on your injury, ice and heat treatments, and whirlpool treatments.
- Surgery. If you have suffered a broken back, or if you are suffering from a herniated disc that is causing root pinching, you may require surgery, especially if the above therapies are not successfully managing your pain or returning function. The two most common types of back surgery are lumbar decompression surgery, which relieves root pinching, or lumbar fusion surgery, which fuses select vertebrae together.
Back Injury Prevention Tips For Workers & Employers
As we stated above, a recent study found that up to 33 percent of on-the-job back injuries could be prevented through worker education and worker safety plans. Both employers and employees can take steps to minimize back pain and prevent incidents from happening. Here are some of the most common strategies recommended by our skilled Dallas DOL workers’ comp doctors:
- Be sure to stretch and warm up. A significant number of back injuries occur when the back is suddenly engaged, either through a fall or by lifting, pulling, or pushing motions. Taking just a few moments to stretch and warm your muscles before engaging in labor can help maintain a healthy back.
- Be aware of repetitive movements and tasks. Knowing is half the battle. Understanding which of your tasks affects your back – from sitting in an office chair to operating heavy machinery – can help you understand how to protect your back. For example, it can help you pick the right chair or back brace for the extra lumbar support you need.
- Lighten your load. Carrying too much weight is one of the top causes of chronic back conditions and chronic back pain. Simply lifting less at a time, if possible, can do wonders for back health. Talk with your employer about strategies for lightening your load.
- Know your capabilities. Do you know your lifting capabilities? Do you engage in strengthening exercises? These are two questions that you and your employer should answer together if you are engaged in physical tasks at work.
- Consider mechanical aids. These are a number of available mechanical aids available for all kinds of professions, from nurses to construction workers. Work with your employer to find out if lifting aids are available and how they could help save everyone from the pain, inconvenience, and lost productivity of back injuries.
- Get training. The very first step to back injury prevention is education and training. Employers should train all new employees regarding common back injuries, back injury prevention, and lifting techniques. Employees should speak with their employers if training is not in place, as it can save workers from injury and improve a company’s bottom line.
Back injury prevention should be a partnership between workers and their companies – and it should also be a goal that is always evolving until back injuries only happen in rare and remote instances.
Getting The Care You Need, Right Now
Living with back pain can seem like a nightmare, in which every waking moment is misery, and sleep seems impossible. Living with back pain also means being sidelined at work, worrying about your finances, and possibly having to switch careers or professions. Finally, living with back pain means feeling frustrated and hopeless – perhaps even struggling with issues of depression and anxiety.
Our Dallas DOL workers’ comp doctors serve the following workers:
- Federal employees
- Postal workers
- Construction workers
- Office workers and clerks
- Jail and prison workers
- TSA employees
- Registered nurses
- Forest service employees
- Compliance officers
At Work Injury MD, our DOL workers’ comp physicians want to help all workers and federal employees in the Dallas area find and retain their health: To be free of pain and back to work as soon as possible. Offering diagnosis, treatment, pain medication, injections, physical therapy, and surgery, we have the solution for you. To learn more about our services, or to schedule a consultation, call us today.