Spinal discs cushion the vertebrae in your back to absorb shock.
A herniated disc happens when the nucleus, or softer inside, pushes out through the rubbery exterior, called the annulus.
The results can be painful, especially if it presses against a nerve. You might also feel weakness or numbness.
Those symptoms can make working with a herniated disc difficult. Even a desk job can be difficult if you’re in constant pain.
Keep reading to learn tips on working with a slipped or herniated disc.
Risks of Continuing to Work With a Herniated Disc
If you continue working with a herniated disc, you could risk aggravating the spinal injury even more. That’s especially true if the herniated disc happened due to a work injury.
If a herniated disc doesn’t get better with conservative treatment, it might require orthopedic surgery, spinal fusion, or disc replacement.
See Your Worker’s Comp Doctor
If you haven’t visited your doctor yet, schedule an appointment right away. Your doctor can assess the herniated disc to see how severe it is. If your herniated disc happened at work, consider filing a workers’ compensation claim and seeing a doctor.
Your worker’s comp doctor can also come up with a treatment plan to help you recover faster. This is important to getting back to work as soon as possible.
Comply With the Treatment Plan
Following the recommended treatment plan helps ease your symptoms, so it’s important to follow the plan exactly for the fastest results.
Treatment usually starts conservatively with modifying activities and avoiding the things that caused the problem.
Physical therapy is an option for treating a herniated disc. If you receive exercises to do at home, do them regularly as your doctor or physical therapist describes for the best benefit.
You might also receive medication to control pain. That could include opioids, muscle relaxers, or cortisone injections if over-the-counter medications don’t work.
By doing these treatments, your back might feel better, which makes it easier to work.
Follow Recommended Work Modifications
Your doctor might recommend modifications or limitations on your work duties depending on your job and your treatment.
If your treatment plan involves prescription pain medication, you might have limitations on what you can do. The side effects of some medications could cause you to feel drowsy or have impaired judgment.
Jobs that involve operating heavy equipment can be dangerous when your on this type of medication.
If your job is physically demanding, the work might be difficult or impossible due to the pain. Your doctor might recommend that you not work or that you do light duty until you improve.
For jobs that require sitting, you might need to take frequent breaks to get up and move around. Or you might need to shorten your workday.
Whatever your doctor recommends, follow those restrictions and modifications to prevent more severe issues.
Listen to Your Body
Trying to push yourself at work with a back injury can result in a worse injury or more severe pain.
When you go back to work, listen to the signs your body gives you. If your work duties are too much, talk to your boss about modifications.
If you can’t handle a full workday, you might need to shorten your schedule or take more time off before you return to work.
Protect Your Back
Working with a herniated disc puts you at risk for a more severe injury. Following your doctor’s recommendations and modifying your work duties can help you continue working while you recover.
Did your herniated disc result from a workplace injury? If so, call (888) 590-4030 today to make an appointment with experienced workers’ comp doctor near you to help you recover faster.