There are many kinds of back injuries that can take place on the job, but understanding the most common and how to avoid them could help you significantly. From herniated discs to strain from overworking the joints, back injuries can happen at almost any time and to anyone.

One of the most significant injuries a person can suffer without paralysis is a disc herniation. This is when the jelly-like material between the vertebrae ruptures, causing pressure on the nerves. This pressure may result in weakness in the limbs, pain or other symptoms.

Where is it most common to see a ruptured disc?

A ruptured disc is most likely in the lower back, but you can get them anywhere. Someone, for instance, who works at a computer may rupture a disc in the neck or upper back, while someone lifting heavy items may end up rupturing a disc in the lower back.

How do you treat a ruptured disc?

In many cases, immediate bed rest is required to help reduce pain and swelling. After that, individuals may require heat and ice therapy, gentle exercise and pain medications. Massage may be helpful in loosening tight muscles and increasing circulation, while epidural steroids help reduce inflammation.

For those who have symptoms for a month or longer, a doctor may want to look into more significant treatments such as surgery. Some surgeries can take the pressure off the nerves, returning your function to normal (or as normal as possible following such a significant injury).

If this injury occurs at work, you should file a workers’ compensation claim. Doing so can help you get the compensation you need while you recover.