When carrying out work-related activities like heavy lifting boxes or tools, you may be at risk of suffering an injury or physical trauma. These may range from cuts, bruises, strains, and sprains, to burns and electrical injuries. Workplace injuries may be caused due to inadequate safety measures, improper training, or the wrong usage of personal protective equipment.
Suffering from injuries in your workplace may cause not only a physical but an emotional impact. Addressing them properly will prevent them from escalating to a more severe issue.
At Spinal Diagnostics, your doctor will work with you to tailor the best treatment plan for your case, depending on the nature of your injury.
Depending on the kind of materials and tools you regularly use in your workplace, potential injuries may range from the following options:
Improperly lifting heavy materials and work devices can lead to the development of back and neck issues. These may include the following:
- Herniated disc: A herniated disc occurs when an intervertebral disc becomes damaged or displaced, leading to nerve irritation and lumbar pain.
- Spinal stenosis: Spinal stenosis occurs when there is increased pressure on the spinal nerves due to the narrowed spaces between the bones in the spine.
- Sciatica: Sciatica happens when the nerves in the lower back area extending into the legs become irritated or damaged.
- Pinched nerve: A pinched nerve occurs when a spinal nerve becomes compressed by pressure due to a correlated condition or physical trauma.
Strains and sprains usually happen because of improper positioning or not taking enough breaks during your work shift. These may range from a limb strain, like leg, wrist, shoulder, or knee strain, to a back and neck strain. They are characterized by the overstretching and tearing of muscles, leading to severe pain.
Cuts and lacerations in the skin may happen due to poor maintenance of the tools or mishandling of sharp objects. They may range from minor cuts to deep lacerations requiring professional attention. Some examples include:
- Incise wounds are straight cuts into the skin, often caused by knives or scissors.
- Puncture wounds are caused by sharp tools like nails or needles.
- Avulsion wounds are caused by heavy machinery and involve the tearing of skin and tissue.
- Lacerations are irregular cuts caused by objects with a serrated edge.
Workplace injuries can severely impact physical and mental health. Physical trauma could cause short-term effects like bruising, swelling, and temporarily limited mobility range. If these injuries are more complex and are not treated properly, issues like chronic pain or impaired functioning develop.
Besides the physical toll workplace injuries may cause, mental health is also susceptible to damage. Exposure to violent and sudden injuries can give rise to symptoms of anxiety, depression, or even PTSD.
Seeking medical intervention right away will help prevent complications and help you return to your regular activities in the least time possible.
At Spinal Diagnostics, your doctor may choose a treatment plan from the following range of options depending on the kind of injury and its severity:
If your case involves a minor injury, your doctor may focus on disinfecting your wound, applying bandages, or offering medication to alleviate mild pain and swelling.
Surgical procedures may be best for severe injuries like lacerations or muscle tears. The objective of the treatment may range from restoring damaged tissues to muscle and bone alignment.
Non-opioid medications can help reduce muscle swelling and nerve pressure without the risk of developing an addiction or side effects. These may range from the following options:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Muscle relaxants
Injections offer long-lasting relief for patients suffering muscle or nerve injury. As the medication is injected into the damaged area, it will flow around your circulatory system, allowing the anesthetic to block pain signals. Some injection options include:
- Steroid injections help provide quick inflammation reduction and symptom relief. They target the nerves that send pain signals into the brain, blocking them almost instantly.
- Facet joint injections are targeted into the joints located on the vertebra, which could be causing nerve compression in the lumbar area due to a physical injury.
Pain management procedures aim to stop the signals sent from the nerves into the brain. When combined with physical therapy, these can significantly improve quality of life since no pain will be felt during recovery.
The best pain management procedures to help alleviate the consequences of a workplace injury include
- Radio waves usage, where radiofrequency stimulation helps disrupt the pain nerve signals sent into the brain.
- Spinal cord stimulation, where electrical impulses help modify the nerve activity in the spine and stop pain from being felt.
Neuromodulation uses electrical nerve stimulation to help reduce the nerve stress caused by a physical injury. These may include:
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): This involves the usage of low-voltage electrical currents to disrupt the transmission of pain signals.
- Peripheral nerve stimulation uses electrical stimulation to target peripheral nerves around the spinal cord for injuries located in the lumbar area.
When patients undergo a minimally invasive intervention, there is no need for complete anesthesia or complex surgical processes. Additionally, their recovery process is a lot faster than traditional surgery.
Some of the best minimally invasive interventions to treat workplace injuries involving physical neck or back trauma include:
- MILD procedure: MILD® (minimally invasive lumbar decompression) uses X-ray guidance to insert a special needle in the lower back area. Using a radiofrequency device, your doctor will remove the bone and ligament excess in your spine, allowing it to release pressure and pain.
- Vertiflex (interspinous spacers): These interspinous spacers are placed between the vertebrae spaces using a small tube inserted into the spine. These spacers help keep the vertebrae in place and reduce the nerve pressure caused by a physical injury in the spine.
The proper usage, storage, and management of tools can often prevent most workplace injuries. Some tips we recommend to avoid physical trauma include:
- Performing a proper training program before heavy machinery usage
- Having regular workspace inspections to identify potential hazards
- Implementing safety policies
- Wearing personal protective equipment at all times