If you know how to load and unload trucks, you have a highly in-demand skillset. You also do not mind working hard every day to support yourself and your family members. Still, a back injury may make it difficult or downright impossible to perform your job duties.
Lumpers may be more vulnerable to serious back injuries than workers in other industries. Here are three back injuries lumpers often suffer at work.
1. Herniated disks
The vertebrae in your spinal column protect your spinal cord from injury and provide support for your upper body. Between your vertebrae, you have soft disks that cushion bones and facilitate movement. If these disks bulge, swell or move out of place, you may be in excruciating pain. The normal twisting and bending you do as a lumper may increase your chances of developing herniated disks.
2. Fractured vertebrae
When performing your job duties, you likely work near forklifts, trucks, pallets, ladders and other potential hazards. If you have an accident involving one of these, you may fracture a bone in your back. A fractured vertebra is a medical emergency, as a broken bone may nick or sever your spinal cord. Unfortunately, spinal cord damage may lead to paralysis and other complications.
3. Sprains and strains
The muscles and connective tissues in your back may stretch or tear when you are loading and unloading trucks. Muscular and ligament sprains and strains can cause both acute and chronic pain. In extreme cases, soft tissue injuries may require surgery or other invasive procedures.
With serious back injuries, it is often critical to receive early diagnosis and treatment. While doing so can be expensive, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits to help you pay medical bills and support your family during your recovery.