There can be several causes of Work-Related Cervical or Neck Injury. A single work accident such as a fall or an automobile accident is a common cause of a worker’s compensation neck injury. The most common cause of a work related cervical injury that we see are from years of strenuous or physical job duties, often involving overhead work or working in awkward positions. For example, machinists or folks who maintain machine often have to crawl and climb around in difficult and unusual positions to do their jobs and this takes a toll on the neck.
Most neck problems happen after years of wear and tear on the parts of the cervical spine. At first, these small injuries are not painful. But over time they can add up. Eventually they begin to cause neck pain. Doctors sometimes call these degenerative changes in the spine spondylosis. Spondylosis can affect the bones and soft tissues of the spine. While most problems with spondylosis are a normal part of aging, if job duties accelerate or aggravate it beyond normal progress, then it is work-related and worker’s compensation benefits are payable.
Degenerative Disc Disease
The normal aging process involves changes within the intervertebral discs. Repeated stresses and strains from physical job duties over time weaken the connective tissues that make up a disc. Over time, the nucleus in the center of the disc dries out. When this happens, it loses some of its ability to absorb shock. The annulus also weakens and develops small cracks and tears.
Often these changes are not painful. But larger tears that reach to the outer edge of the annulus can cause neck pain. The body tries to heal the cracks with scar tissue. But scar tissue is not as strong as the tissue it replaces. At some point the disc may finally lose its ability to absorb shock for the spine. Then forces from gravity and daily activities can take even more of a toll on the disc and other structures of the spine.
McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee Wisconsin focuses our workers compensation practice on spinal injuries including the Work-Related Cervical or Neck Injury. Our attorneys provide legal representation for men and women with neck injuries from the construction trades including iron worker, laborer, electrician, plumber, carpenter, drywaller, painter. But we also see workers with neck or cervical injuries from many other fields as well. Either way, a doctor must give the opinion that the condition is related to work. Work-relatedness is not always easy to tell for an employee or the doctor, and a free initial consultation with an experienced worker’s compensation attorney is a good decision.