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Work-related back injury can have long-term health consequences

Illinois workers in various industries are exposed to occupational hazards that could cause life-changing injuries. Some of the most common occupational injuries are back injuries, the severity of which can vary considerably -- often causing long-term medical problems. A back injury can result from a sudden traumatic event, or it can develop over time due to micro-trauma caused by repetitive activity.

The latter is often not considered serious and is ignored until it develops into an acute, disabling condition. A severe back injury can be mistaken as a single traumatic event while it might have been the final straw after years of repetitive micro-trauma. Muscles, ligaments, discs and vertebrae -- individually or combined -- can weaken over time and eventually fail to provide the necessary musculoskeletal support of the spine.

The National Institute of Occupational Health says back injuries, in and of themselves, are not known to cause work-related deaths. However, hundreds of thousands of workers suffer debilitating back injuries every year. The result is not only a financial burden, but it also impacts productivity and is the cause of significant human suffering.

Illinois victims of work-related whiplash, slipped discs, spinal fractures or any other type of back injury may find comfort in knowing that the workers' compensation insurance program is there for them. However, the prospect of dealing with insurance adjusters, who will likely be looking after the interest of the employer rather than the worker, might be overwhelming. For that reason, many workplace injury victims choose to seek the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to navigate benefits claims for them.

Source: osha.gov, "Back Disorders and Injuries", Accessed on Feb. 10, 2018

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