The human spine has three sections. The neck is referred to as the cervical spine. The middle of the back is referred to as the thoracic spine. The lower back is referred to as the lumbar spine.
The spine consists of vertebrae with discs in between each set of vertebrae. The discs serve several functions. Discs serve as spacers and shock absorbers between vertebrae and help hold the vertebrae together. Discs also contribute to the spine’s flexibility.
Discs can be damaged and worn down over time. Discs may also be damaged by trauma. When discs are damaged, they become herniated or bulging and can cause pinched nerves (slipped disc). Disc injuries cause severe pain. Herniated cervical discs may cause neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches, arm pain, tingling and numbness in the arm and fingers and in the most serious cases, paralysis. Herniated discs and the lumbar spine also cause severe back pain. They may also cause leg pain, numbness or tingling in the legs, feet or toes. The back and neck also have an intricate system of tendons, ligaments, and muscles which support the back. These muscles, tendons, and ligaments may also be injured.
Treatment for neck and back injuries usually begins with pain and anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. If these treatments do not provide relief, the physician will likely order an MRI. The MRI is probably the most useful tool for accurately diagnosing neck and back injuries. When medicine and therapy fail to help the physician may recommend more aggressive treatment such as epidural steroid injections. When these treatments are unsuccessful, disc injuries sometimes require surgery. Back and neck injuries are probably the most common and most disabling of all workplace injuries.
Cause Of Back And Neck Injuries
Spine injuries may be caused by heavy lifting, falls, automobile accidents and many other unusual events. Spine injuries may also be caused by lifting small or light objects. Spine injuries commonly result from a combination of a preexisting condition and the work incident. Where the employee’s preexisting condition combines with the work injury and produces the need for medical treatment or an inability to work, the employee is entitled to workers’ compensation.
Injuries on the job commonly cause the following conditions:
- Herniated Discs
- Strains and Sprains
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Nerve Compression
- Chronic Neck and Back Pain
Attorney John A. Hedrick has over 20 years of experience with Workers’ Compensation Law in Raleigh and throughout North Carolina. The Law Office of John A. Hedrick, PLLC provides every client with the personalized attention, guidance and legal counsel they deserve.
If you have suffered a neck or back injury you should consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Please contact us by telephone at 919-977-0804, email us at [email protected] or complete our Free Claim Evaluation form.
From our office in Raleigh, the Law Office of John A. Hedrick serves workers throughout North Carolina, including Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Fayetteville, Wilmington and the surrounding areas. If you have questions about your rights, please contact us for a free consultation and evaluation of your claim.