Work-related neck injuries are common as work-related injuries. Neck pain can be quite debilitating and cause life-long problems for injured workers.
The spine is made of discs broken down into three categories: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. Neck related injuries are to the cervical spine. The cervical spine consists of seven vertebrae and ranges from the skull down to the upper back at the shoulders. Injuries to the cervical spine can impact the ability to sit and stand, look up or down, drive a car, perform household activities and more.
Types of Injuries Resulting in Neck Pain
Neck pain can be caused by a traumatic event and by repetitive activity. Both types of injuries are covered by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. Traumatic injuries are injuries that occur because of an event. An example would be a box falling and hitting an injured workers on the head or neck. It can result from an activity at work that jerks the head that causes neck pain. It can be caused by a work-related motor vehicle accident. It can be caused by a whiplash type of event. Obviously these examples are not exhaustive and there are many ways to injure the neck.
Neck pain can also develop over time due to repetitive work activities. Neck injuries can occur from repetitive motions such as long term computer or equipment usage. It can occur when working on a line and having your neck positioned in an awkward manner for long periods of time. It can be caused by unusual movements or twisting of the neck. It can be caused by intense repetitive activity.
Whether you have a traumatic incident or a repetitive stress injury to the neck, it may be covered as work-related injury.
The Type of Symptoms Resulting From a Neck Injury
Symptoms of a neck injury can be wide-ranging. Symptoms can range from pain in the neck area, to restricted range of motion, to numbness or tingling in the upper extremities, to radiating pain into the shoulders. Radiating pain is often referred to as referred pain, giving a false sense of an injury elsewhere, such as to your shoulder. Neck pain can also cause headaches and impair the ability to sleep soundly. Many injured workers experience burning and throbbing pain, tremors, or weakness in the arms and hands. Again, these symptoms are not exhaustive.
The Type of Treatment for Neck Injuries
There are a broad number of treatments for neck related pain. Much depends on the extent of the injury. Treatment may initially include work restrictions, pain medications, muscle relaxers, and physical therapy. If symptoms do not subside, often times an injured worker may receive injections to try and calm the condition. If symptoms do not subside, many medical providers will then order an MRI to determine the extent of injury.
Finally, some injured workers end up having cervical spine surgery. These surgeries may include discectomy, laminectomy, or spinal fusions surgeries. Again, it depends on the extent of the injury to the cervical spine.
What to do if you Injured Your Neck at Work
First, and foremost, report the injury to your employer right away. Get a written report.
Second, seek medical attention right away. Explain to the doctor how the injury occurred. If it is repetitive, explain to the doctor the type of job you do and that that your symptoms started at work and worsened over time. Medicals records are extremely important. Discuss your work activities in detail and what type of activity caused your symptoms. Your doctor will record what you say in terms of how the injury occurred and the symptoms you are experiencing.
Finally, call Mooney Law right away for a FREE consultation. We have recovered millions and millions of dollars in benefits for injured workers throughout Central Pennsylvania and Maryland. We are experienced litigators, trusted legal representatives, and proven with results. Call today for a free consultation at 717-200-HELP or 833-MOONEYLAW. We are ready to fight for you to protect your right and gain you the benefits you deserve. Contact my firm, Mooney Law, on the web here.