One of the leading causes of disability in the world is back pain and related musculoskeletal disorders. They are the most common on-the-job injuries, as well. Back injuries result in disruption in work, reduction in productivity, and reduce your employability. Many cases of chronic back pain are localized in the lumbar spine and lower back and can radiate down into the legs.
Back Pain Statistics and Symptoms
Statistics show that 80% of adults have experienced back pain. Both men and women are equally affected. Pain can range from a dull ache to sudden, sharp pains that incapacitate a person. The pain may develop slowly over time due to changes in the spine or can appear suddenly after an accident or incident such as lifting a heavy object.
Back pain may be acute, short-term, or chronic and may last a few days to years. The majority of low back pain is due to mechanics of the spine, muscle, nerves, and intervertebral discs. Subacute low back pain is defined as back pain that lasts no more than 12 weeks, but a minimum of four weeks. Chronic back pain is pain that lasts for 12 weeks or even longer. About 20% of those affected by acute back pain will develop chronic back pain at the one-year mark.
Maritime Workers and Back Injuries
It is not uncommon for maritime employees to suffer from back pain and back injuries. Some of the most common ways these injuries happen include falling or tripping accidents, twisting in odd positions while working, manhandling cargo that is too heavy, and repetitive vessel vibration. In addition, stress, obesity, lack of sleep, and anxiety are all known to contribute to back pain.
If you are already taking anti-inflammatory medication or pain medication for your back pain, you need to have testing done to determine the cause of the pain. If your pain has led to weakness or numbness in your legs, it could be due to a slipped disc, a vertebra that is fractured, or another back injury. Trying to tough it out may only result in permanent damage.
Preventing Back Injuries
It is always better to try to prevent back injuries rather than deal with them once they occur. To protect yourself from maritime back injuries, here are a few tips:
- Stay educated on how to work offshore safely.
- Only lift, push, carry, pull, or twist in a manner that supports your back.
- Be aware of signs of spinal strain.
- Reduce pressure on your back by keeping your weight low.
- Stretch, walk around during your work breaks, check your posture, and get enough sleep.
Contact an Experienced Maritime Law Attorney TodayIf you have suffered a back injury or are having back pain due to a work-related incident, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at Kolodny Law Firm are dedicated to helping injured victims recover the compensation they deserve and know the ins and outs of maritime law. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.