Overexertion refers to non-impact injuries caused by manipulating external objects. Actions such as lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, and throwing can cause an overexertion injury to the limbs, torso, and especially to the back. The lower back is particularly vulnerable because it lacks rigid bone structure. Instead, it consists of vertebrae supported by muscle tissue. A bad injury to the lower back can put you out of work for months and possibly years in the most severe cases.
What to Do When You Suffer an Overexertion Injury
- Stop working. Continuing your work while ignoring the pain will increase the injury's severity and may lengthen your recovery time. Some workers do this because the continued physical activity can temporarily numb the pain. However, after resting, the pain will return in a more excruciating form.
- Immediately report the injury. You have 75 days to file your worker's compensation claim, and the process starts by reporting your injury.
- Get prompt medical attention. Whether or not the injury is serious is for a doctor to decide. If it is serious, then the sooner you get medical attention, the sooner you will recover and start working again. Another reason for seeing a doctor is that the injury will be recorded in your medical records. This may prove useful in any workers compensation disputes.
- Use lifting devices. Use available lifting and carrying equipment. Look around for lifting equipment such as hoists. This also applies to carrying heavy objects. It's one thing to merely lift an object, but it's quite another to carry it long distances. Use a pallet jack or ask a forklift operator to help.
- Ask for help. Another's help lessens the load.
- Don't twist when lifting. Keep your back rigid and straight when lifting and carrying a load. When setting an object to the side, move with your feet rather than twisting your back.
- Use proper lifting technique. Keep your back straight and use your legs. There should be no lifting motion of the back. In addition, keep the load close to your body.
- Avoid sudden jerking motions. Although this helps with getting the load off the ground, it magnifies the stress in your back and joints.
If you are having trouble obtaining your full worker's compensation benefits because of your employer, get legal advice from the experienced lawyers at Odegaard Braukmann Law. Contact us today.