Anything from repetitive strain to sudden injuries can lead to serious neck pain, and neck pain can lead to chronic, debilitating problems. Understanding more about the types of neck injuries you can develop can help you better recognize the signs of trouble and respond appropriately.
An Illinois employee who experiences neck damage that is work-related should immediately pursue a workers’ compensation claim. If the injury is serious enough that it keeps you from working and is expected to last at least a year or result in death, you may also be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
What are the most common types of neck injuries?
Three of the most common types of neck injuries are whiplash injuries, those created by repetitive stress or strain, and vertebral disc injuries caused by trauma. Each of these could occur in the line of work in many industries and jobs.
What are whiplash injuries?
When a person’s head suddenly moves violently back and forth, a whiplash injury could occur. This might happen to an employee who drives industrial equipment or a car, van or truck for work. It can also happen from a fall or in any incident in which a worker’s body receives an unexpected, traumatic blow.
Dizziness, headaches and soft tissue damage that may cause pain or stiffness along a person’s neck are consistent with this injury. Patients often experience tingling, weakness or numbness that originates in their neck or even in the limbs when they’re suffering from a whiplash injury as well.
In worst-case scenarios, whiplash can even damage bones and discs.
What are repetitive stress or strain injuries?
You don’t have to engage in hard labor to find yourself suffering from a repetitive stress injury (RSI) in your neck. While warehouse workers and others in physically strenuous roles may receive an RSI diagnosis from improper lifting practices, clerical workers may also suffer from this condition. Secretarial workers often experience the onset of symptoms after maintaining awkward positions or poor posture for extended periods.
An RSI often starts as a strain or sprain but can evolve into a pinched nerve that radiates pain, tingling or numbness down the injured worker’s neck and throughout their arms.
What are vertebral disk injuries?
Heavy lifting and crush accidents are two causes of workers experiencing vertebral disk damage. This injury may initially cause a patient to experience pain that radiates from their neck down into their shoulder, arm and fingers.
If the damage includes a fracture to a vertebra, the spinal cord could become compromised, which opens the worker up to the risk of catastrophic injury like paralysis or even death.
What should you do following a workplace neck injury?
If you’ve suffered a neck injury on the job, you have a right to claim Illinois workers’ compensation benefits. You may even have a viable claim against a third party like the work premises’ landlord or manufacturer of defective or dangerous equipment if their negligence contributed to your woes.
An attorney can help you learn more about your legal options and the benefits that will protect your future.