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What to know about spinal cord injuries as a construction worker

You’re at work on a construction site when suddenly things go terribly wrong. You find yourself on the ground with pain radiating from your neck and back. When you arrive at the emergency room, the doctor informs you that you have sustained a spinal cord injury. What are spinal cord injuries? Are they treatable? Can you seek relief through workers’ compensation?

 

Cause

Spinal cord injuries can be sustained in a variety of ways including falls, car accidents, alcohol consumption, and health issues. When the nerves and spinal cord are damaged, the symptoms may be diagnosed immediately or within the days that follow. A person who has been injured make experience changes in strength, range of motion, changes in bodily functions, spasms, respiratory complications or paralysis. Respiratory complications, such as when someone has trouble breathing, occur in one-third of neck injuries.

Prognosis and treatment

If you have sustained such an injury it’s important to know that you are not out of options. Many people have had success in regaining muscle strength, communication skills and the return of sensations through rehabilitation. A rehabilitative team can help you throughout the recovery process. In addition to physical therapy and surgical procedures, you can be taught how to improve your communication and work skills. However, the recovery and prognosis of a spinal cord injury can be different for everyone depending on the type of damage that has been caused.

Seeking relief through workers’ compensation

Individuals who sustained a spinal cord injury while they were at work may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Such benefits can include covering associated medical expenses, compensating you for wage loss and helping you with work duty accommodations.

Spinal cord injuries can affect your quality of life and can take a toll on your mental health. If you believe that your spinal cord has been damaged, seeking treatment as soon as possible may be able to prevent the injury from worsening and help you to recover as quickly as possible.

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