Workplace neck injuries can occur due to various factors and causes. Here are some common causes:
- Poor Ergonomics: Incorrect workstation setup, such as improper desk height, chair position, or monitor placement, can lead to poor neck posture and strain. Prolonged periods of working in awkward positions without proper support can contribute to neck injuries.
- Repetitive Movements: Jobs that involve repetitive neck movements, such as constant twisting, bending, or reaching, can strain the neck muscles and result in injuries over time. This is common in occupations like assembly line work, construction, or tasks that involve frequent overhead work.
- Lifting and Carrying: Improper lifting techniques, especially when handling heavy objects, can put excessive stress on the neck and lead to injuries. Lifting objects that are too heavy, lifting with a twisted neck or improper posture, or sudden jerking motions can strain the neck muscles and cause injury.
- Falls and Slips: Workplace falls and slips can cause sudden jolts or impacts to the neck, resulting in strains, sprains, or more severe injuries. This can occur due to slippery surfaces, uneven floors, or objects obstructing walkways.
- Vehicle Accidents: Workers who operate vehicles as part of their job, such as drivers, delivery personnel, or construction equipment operators, are at risk of neck injuries due to collisions or sudden jolts. Whiplash is a common neck injury in vehicle accidents, where the head is forcefully thrown forward and backward.
- Workstation Design and Equipment: Inadequate design or malfunctioning of workplace equipment, such as chairs, desks, or tools, can contribute to neck injuries. Faulty equipment, uncomfortable workstations, or tools that require excessive force can strain the neck muscles and lead to injury.
- Work-related Stress: Prolonged periods of stress, tension, or anxiety in the workplace can cause muscle tension and contribute to neck pain and discomfort. Stress-related neck injuries can be aggravated by poor posture or prolonged sitting or standing.
Tests to Diagnose a Workplace Neck Injury
Here are some common tests and diagnostic procedures that may be employed:
- Physical Examination: A healthcare provider will conduct a thorough physical examination, assessing the range of motion, muscle strength, and areas of tenderness in the neck and surrounding regions. They may also examine the shoulders, back, and arms for any associated symptoms.
- Imaging Tests: Imaging tests can provide detailed visual information about the neck structures and help identify any abnormalities or injuries. Common imaging tests used for diagnosing neck injuries include:
- X-rays: X-rays can help identify fractures, dislocations, or degenerative changes in the spine.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of soft tissues. It can reveal herniated discs, spinal cord compression, nerve impingement, or soft tissue injuries.
- Computed Tomography (CT) Scan: A CT scan combines X-ray images taken from different angles to create detailed cross-sectional images. It can provide information about bone injuries, fractures, or spinal abnormalities.
- Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS): EMG and NCS are tests used to assess nerve function. EMG measures the electrical activity of muscles, while NCS measures the speed and strength of nerve signals. These tests can help evaluate nerve damage or compression in the neck and surrounding areas.
- Diagnostic Injections: In some cases, diagnostic injections may be used to help identify the source of neck pain. These injections involve injecting a local anesthetic or a combination of anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medication into specific structures, such as facet joints or nerve roots, to determine if they are contributing to the symptoms.
- Specialist Consultation: Depending on the specific nature of the neck injury, a healthcare provider may refer the individual to a specialist, such as an orthopedic surgeon, neurologist, or physiatrist, for further evaluation and treatment.
Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to legal matters. Statutes of limitations may apply, so it’s crucial to act promptly. If you or a loved one has suffered a workplace neck injury, don’t hesitate to contact a specialized workers’ compensation lawyer today. Call our team to schedule a consultation and let us fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Take the first step towards protecting your rights by reaching out to us now.