Lower back pain is a common form of occupational injury for California workers. Unfortunately, due to the complicated nature of these types of injuries, it might be difficult for doctors— or even victims— to determine when exactly the incident leading to the injury occurred.
The state labor code, retrieved from Findlaw, states the following two categories of injuries:
- Injuries that occur from a single event, such as a scaffolding fall or a forklift accident
- Problems that build up over time, such as repetitive stress syndrome or most mental illness
Most every injury imaginable fits neatly into one or the other of these definitions. A lower back injury, for example, could be the specific result of a ladder fall or the cumulative effect of years of motor vehicle operation. One might also sustain a serious cumulative injury over a short term, by operating a malfunctioning jackhammer or using power tools without adequate training, for example.
It does not come as a surprise that the National Institutes of Health information portal lists occupational hazards as one of the major causes of lower back pain, specifically in jobs involving:
- Sitting for extended periods
- Pushing and pulling
- Pivoting the spine
Workplaces are by no means the only places injuries occur. However, due to the fact that so many stressors exist even in seemingly non-hazardous work environments, the facts often point definitively towards one or more job activities as the source of the injury in any given case.
The NIH page also contains useful advice for avoiding back pain, as well as some of the commonly accepted treatments and diagnosis methods. By following these guidelines, employers might create an environment that better protects workers from both specific and cumulative injuries.