Many people avoid going to the doctor for a variety of reasons. They want to avoid a healthy living lecture; they do not want to share private or embarrassing information; they worry about the cost of care and more. Even after an accident at work, many employees will ignore or minimize pain. They try to tough it out and never seek professional medical help. For those who are experiencing neck pain, however, this course of action can be especially damaging. Neck pain is a common injury symptom experienced by workers, with more than 16,000 cases reported across the country in 2014. Neck pain can be a sign of a variety of injuries and illnesses, and failing to seek proper care for the pain can lead to more serious health issues.
Common Causes of Occupational Neck Pain
Neck pain can be caused by a number of situations, including single traumatic events and overuse injuries that develop over time. Some of the most common causes of neck pain among workers include:
- Vehicle accidents
- Overheard work (with arms raised)
- Heavy lifting
- Poor posture
- Being fixed in one position for an extended time
These causes and others create a significant stress on American workers, who missed a median of eight days of work as a result of a neck injury or neck pain. Additionally, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study states that roughly 15 percent of adults in the U.S. reported experiencing neck pain at least once in the three months before the study.
Common Neck Injury Symptoms and What to Do About Them
Given the complex structure of the neck, it is not surprising that it can be prone to pain and injury. The neck is part of the spine known as the cervical vertebrae. It is made up of bones, muscles, and ligaments which are responsible for supporting the head and providing stability to the spine. With its wide range of motion and the minimal amount of protection offered by body structures, the neck is susceptible to more injury than other parts of the body. Symptoms of neck injury can manifest in a wide variety of ways, but it is important to recognize these symptoms and seek medical care if you experience:
- Severe pain
- Pain that will not go away
- Reduced range of motion
- Pain accompanied by headache, tingling, or weakness
- Pain that radiates down the arms or legs
Neck Pain Is Often a Symptom of a More Serious Condition
These symptoms and others indicate that there has been trauma to the neck or some other underlying condition is occurring. Neck pain can be a sign of a number of issues, including:
- Herniated disc
- Sprain or strain
- Hyperextension or hyperflexion
Treating a neck injury involves many different types of care—from simple to highly invasive. More minor injuries are often treated simply with rest and over-the-counter medications. Other, more serious injuries can require physical therapy or even surgery. Only a medical professional can determine how your neck pain should be addressed.
Seek Care and File for Workers’ Compensation Benefits Today
If you are experiencing neck pain because of the conditions of your employment, Iowa workers’ compensation benefits can help you obtain the care and compensation you need. Too often, injured workers suffer in silence because they worry about the cost of care or lost income or even that their injury is not severe enough to warrant benefits. Neck pain can be serious, and injured workers should seek treatment as soon as possible.
If you are unsure how to proceed, uncertain of your rights, or have any questions, the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Pothitakis Law Firm can help. Our legal team has helped countless Iowa workers obtain the benefits they deserved so that they could recover as fully as possible. Call our office nearest you or fill out the contact form on this page to speak with a member of our team.