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Construction workers face higher risk of severe spinal injuries

“This study demonstrates that the construction industry is still experiencing a high burden of work-related spinal trauma, particularly related to falls, despite safety measures being in place.”

The most common back injury we see with our clients are herniated discs. A herniated disc (also called a herniated disk, a herniated nucleus pulposus, disc protrusion, disc extrusion, a slipped disc, a ruptured disc, a pinched nerve and sometimes misdiagnosed as a disc bulge) can be a serious injury. Herniations can occur in the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (upper back) or in the lumbar spine (lower back).

A herniated disk refers to the situation where the cushions (disc) between the bones (vertebrae) of your spinal cord, or the vertebrae themselves, are damaged due to injury or disease, causing the disc to be squeezed out from beneath the vertebras. Many people have herniated disks, but do not experience any symptoms (they are asymptomatic), this is because the extruded disc material has not yet come into contact with the nerves running down your spine. When the disc contacts a nerve, pain ensues. Depending on what level your herniation is located (cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine), pain can run down your right or left arm, right or left leg, can effect your hands, feet, fingers, toes and can cause numbness as well.

Generally, a herniated disc (be it cervical, thoracic or lumbar) is caused by either (1) degenerative disc disease or (2) a traumatic injury.

Degenerative disc disease. A herniated disc may occur from gradual wear and tear on the disc, which leads to settling of the vertebral bodies and calcification of the disc space. Most commonly, the symptoms of herniated discs due to degenerative disc disease manifest between ages 30 and 50, and develop gradually.

Trauma to the Upper Back. Traumatic herniated discs are associated with a single traumatic event that caused the abrupt onset of symptoms. Any injury that causes a high degree of sudden force on the discs in the spine could lead to a herniated disc, such as a fall, a twisting type injury to the spine or a sports injury. In many situations, people are already suffering from degenerative disc disease, but are asymptomatic, and a work-related injury or some other injury can cause an aggravation or a worsening to pre-existing degenerative disc disease of the spine. If a work injury aggravates your underlying degenerative disc disease, causing a herniated disc, you are most likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If you have suffered a herniated disc as a result of a workers compensation injury and think you may have a workers’ compensation claim, call an attorney experienced with Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation Statute for more information.

If you suffer from a herniated disc and have questions about an Alabama Worker’s Compensation claim, please do not hesitate to contact the experienced Alabama Workers Compensation Injury Attorneys at with your questions.

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Powell and Denny have been selected as one of the Best Law Firms by U.S. News and World Report for each of the last 5 years, have been selected as one of Birmingham’s Top Lawyers by B-Metro Magazine for the last 3 years, have been selected by The National Advocates as one of the Top 20 Workers’ Compensation Firms (plaintiffs) and Powell and Denny, P.C.-has been selected as one of the “Best of the Best” law firms by The American Registry.
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