As a Texas oil and gas industry worker, you no doubt understand that this type of work often ranks high on lists of industries that carry increased risk for on-the-job accidents and worker injuries. Your employer has hopefully provided all necessary training, information and equipment to help you stay safe. Among the most common types of injuries workers in similar fields often experience, back injuries top the list.
If you suffer a work-related back injury, it’s best to seek medical attention right away. You might be tempted to try to tough it out so that you don’t have to take time off work to recover. While this may seem like a good idea at first, you could wind up in worse condition later without much-needed medical treatment. There are several things to keep in mind when dealing with a back injury.
Staying relaxed as much as possible is helpful
If you are tense, it can cause your muscles to constrict, and if you have a back injury, it might increase pain and discomfort. Studies show that if you can practice relaxation techniques, it can help reduce stress and back discomfort. It’s not uncommon to develop chronic pain issues after a back injury. You may find it necessary to make repeat visits to a doctor or physical therapist to help you manage the pain.
Document your pain in writing
You might wonder what benefit keeping a pain journal might have, but many people find it helps them identify various triggers that seem to make their back pain worse. For instance, if you notice that you have several entries in your journal where you pain increased after the same activity, you can try to avoid it in the future. It’s also a good idea to share your pain log with your physician or physical therapist.
Monitor your emotional and mental health too
When you are recovering from a back injury or dealing with chronic pain, it can adversely affect your mental and emotional health. You’re at risk for depression and other issues in such circumstances. It may be helpful to talk about your condition with a trusted friend or family member or to see a licensed counselor who has helped others with chronic pain conditions.
Build a strong support network
When a work accident results in a back injury, you’ll undoubtedly need support as you navigate recovery. Your medical team, family members, employer and others can help you achieve as full a recovery as possible. Many injured workers also stay connected to workers’ compensation attorneys to help them resolve any legal issues that arise as they seek benefits.