Did you wake up achy or in pain again? Back pain is a significant problem that affects many people around the United States each and every day. Back pain is among the most common causes of medical appointments and missing work. Additionally, it’s one of the leading causes of disability in the world.
Your back pain could be caused by many different issues, such as:
- Osteoporosis, which is when the spine develops fractures because your bones are brittle and porous
- Arthritis, which may be narrowing the space around the spinal cord or causing lower back pain from inflammation
- Ruptured or bulging disks. These disks are the cushions between the vertebrae, so if they are out of place or have ruptured, they could be pushing on the spinal cord or causing other dysfunction
- Muscle strain from heavy or awkward lifting
- Ligament strain from awkward or heavy lifting
These and other issues could lead to back pain.
Symptoms that are signs that you need to see a medical professional for an exam include:
- Pain that persists for more than a few weeks
- Pain, burning or tingling that extends down the legs or arms
- Weakness in one or both legs or the arms
- Unusual weight loss
- Back pain with new or worsening bladder or bowel issues
- Back pain with a fever
- Back pain after a fall or other injury to the back
Seek medical help as soon as you can if you have these or other related symptoms.
What can you do if your back pain stems from work?
You do have some options that can help you if you start to have back pain that you believe is linked to your work. For example, you can talk to your employer about using workers’ compensation to seek medical help and to get your care’s cost covered. You can also talk to your employer about the need for reasonable accommodations, such as more regular breaks or giving you the option to sit down during a shift.
Workers’ compensation may be there to help you get the medical care and treatments you need. Your employer will have more information about your workers’ compensation plan and the steps you need to take to file your claim.