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6 reasons back pain strikes at work

Serious back pain can end your career. Many physical careers -- working in a warehouse, on a construction site or on a road maintenance crew, for instance -- require constant lifting and intense physical activity. Back pain that lands you in the hospital may never go away to the extent that you can do these jobs again. Even if the immediate pain fades with time, you may never quite trust your back like you used to. Do you want a relapse or a secondary injury?

How injuries occur

To avoid back injuries, you need to understand how they happen. Below are six common reasons for back pain and injuries in North Carolina:

  1. Repeated movements: The movement you have to make could be small, and you may spend months or years doing it without an issue, but that repetition takes a toll. Workers in factories and on assembly lines often deal with these types of back injuries. Pain slowly builds up until it is overwhelming.
  2. A lack of physical activity: Even workers at desk jobs run the risk of suffering a back injury. This is especially true when they have to put in extra long hours and do not have chairs and desks built to promote good posture. Not moving can be as detrimental as moving too often.
  3. Lifting items that are too heavy: This sounds obvious, but it happens so often. People need to use machines and mechanical lifts, or they at least need to work together with others. However, often because they feel pressure to do the job quickly, they try to do it alone. It may work sometimes, but all it takes is one ill-advised lift to lead to a serious injury.
  4. Improper lifting: Technique is important. Workers who think they can just muscle their way through a job suffer injuries when lifting with their backs instead of their legs. Companies should train workers on how to lift, but this does not always happen.
  5. Lifting without preparing: You stretch and change your clothes when you go to the gym, but workers rarely do the same thing at work. They end up lifting in work clothes, wearing shoes without enough grip, with no gloves and with their wallets and phones in their pockets. They rarely stretch. All of this can make injuries more likely.
  6. Ignoring the body's signs: Not all back injuries happen right away. If you feel slight pain or extra pressure, stop whatever you're doing. Trying to gut it out can lead to serious injuries.

Since back injuries can change your career path forever, it is so important to know all of your legal rights to workers' compensation. Remember that your costs could extend far beyond the medical bills you get from the hospital.

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