Not all work-related injuries are caused by accidents or happen suddenly. Some are simply caused by the job itself. Workers can develop musculoskeletal disorders over a long period of time. When these injuries are left untreated, they can worsen and even result in permanent damage. The attorneys at Hochman & Plunkett Co., L.P.A. have seen firsthand how these types of injuries can affect truck drivers.
Truck drivers are susceptible to musculoskeletal pain
One occupation that is susceptible to musculoskeletal disorders is truck driving. Safety + Health Magazine cites a report conducted by researchers at the University of Waterloo that surveyed 107 male truck drivers. The study was published in Journal of Transport & Health in September.
The study found that roughly 3 out of 5 truckers sustained musculoskeletal complications due to their job within the previous 30 days of being surveyed.
Musculoskeletal pain is caused by the wear and tear of muscle tissue from everyday usage. This pain can affect joints, ligaments, nerves, tendons, as well as the neck and back. Sitting for long periods can affect the spine and cause muscles to shorten, thus resulting in prolonged discomfort and fatigue.
The occupational pain and discomfort many truckers experience are often attributed to:
- Repetitive movements
- Frequent lifting
- Long periods of sitting
- Physical fitness
- Job satisfaction
Treating musculoskeletal disorders
According to Hinge Health, musculoskeletal disorders affect 54 percent of working adults each year. When these disorders result in chronic low back pain, workers are more likely to experience anxiety, sleep disorders and depression. Additionally, back pain is the second most common cause of missed work days (after the common cold) for adults under the age of 45 and makes up roughly 25 percent of workers' compensation claims.
Treating musculoskeletal injuries may require time away from work and costly procedures. These include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Exercise and physical therapy
- Osteopathic treatment
- Chiropractic treatment
- Massage and relaxation
If other methods aren't effective in treating musculoskeletal pain, surgery may be required. This can lead to increased medical expenses and extend the duration of recovery.
Filing a workers' compensation claim
If your musculoskeletal disorder was work-related, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.
However, obtaining compensation, especially if your condition isn't accident-related, can be difficult. The insurance companies that handle workers' compensation benefits in Ohio may be likely to deny your claim. However, if your job as a truck driver is causing pain and discomfort, it's important to understand your rights.
An experienced workers' compensation attorney at Hochman & Plunkett Co., L.P.A. can guide you through the filing process and negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement. We handle workers' compensation cases involving all types of injuries, including those caused by repetitive stress. Contact us today to learn more.