Work Related Injuries
Injuries at work place are very common and may be debilitating. Workplace injuries often occur because of high-risk jobs, lack of or scarcity in safety devices, lack of training, and higher numbers of manual workers.
Occupational injuries can be categorized in many ways such as injuries by nature of job, injuries related to various organs, and injuries based on severity. Injuries at work place may affect any part of the body and at times at multiple locations. Based on the body part affected, occupational injuries can be classified as injuries to head, neck, trunk, upper limbs, lower limbs, and multiple locations.
The common injuries at work place include:
- Bone dislocations
- Soft tissue injuries
- Injuries requiring limb amputations
Spinal injuries are the most common workplace injuries that may occur while operating heavy machines, lifting heavy objects, driving automobiles, or when you suffer a fall at workplace.
Common spinal injuries you may suffer at workplace include:
- Chronic low back pain
- Dislocation of adjacent bones
- Partial misalignment (subluxation) of adjacent bones
- Disc compression (herniated disc)
- Hematoma (accumulation of blood)
- Partial or complete tears of ligaments
The most common symptom of spinal injuries is pain. Some injuries may damage spinal nerves that may cause inflammation, loss of muscle control and loss of sensation. Symptoms may proceed to paralysis, limited movement, and immobility. Workplace injuries are diagnosed using X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
Depending on the type and severity of injury, treatment will be initiated. Regardless of the type of injury, patient should be provided first aid that includes
- ABC: Airway, breathing and circulation
- Immobilization of the body part affected to avoid further injury
- Shift to hospital and once stabilized, methyl prednisone can be administered (within 8 hours after injury) to reduce swelling and further tissue damage
Later your orthopedic surgeon will decide on the treatment. You may be treated with pain medications, epidural injections (injecting into spine), physiotherapy, and surgery. Surgery is recommended when other treatments are a failure or inappropriate. Your spine surgeon may recommend for rehabilitation that includes both physiotherapy and occupational therapy to promote complete and faster healing.