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Why should you immediately report a work-related back injury?

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Carrying out your work-related duties can take a daily toll on your body. On most days, you may head home and sit heavily in your favorite chair as you feel your muscles unwind from a hard day’s labor. While many of your aches and pains may be typical for the paces you put your body through on the job, if you ever feel that something is not right when performing your job, you may want to file a report with your employer.

For example, you may be lifting a heavy object, bending over or reaching to grab something on a shelf when you suddenly feel shooting pain in your back. The pain may subside, and you may disregard it as nothing serious. However, if you suspect an injury might have occurred while you are on the job, even a minor one, reporting it to your employer is of the utmost importance.

Delayed symptoms

One reason to report any job injury to your employer is that some injuries can be more serious than they first appear. With back injuries, the symptoms of a serious injury may not appear right away because the body is able to mask the pain. However, the following injuries could affect a worker and cause serious problems.

  • Muscle strains or tears: A strained or torn muscle can cause shooting pain that subsides or only feels like a minor but persistent ache or pain. This issue could make the muscle more vulnerable to further injury if ignored or not treated properly.
  • Swelling: Inflammation and fluid retention do not always appear immediately after an injury, but it can restrict a person’s range of motion later and cause painful muscle spasms.
  • Herniated disc: The cushiony disc between the vertebrae in a person’s back can bulge or rupture due to a lifting injury or sudden or awkward movement. This problem may not immediately affect the surrounding nerves, but it can cause severe pain later when the bulging disc does reach the nerves.

Suffering any of these issues could put you out of work for days or even weeks, if not causing permanent damage. If you do not report the initial incident that caused the injury, your attempts at pursuing workers’ compensation later could be hindered by the lack of an earlier report. As a result, making a possible injury or accident known to your employer immediately is wise.