Any type of neck injury, even one that doesn't appear severe at first, has a way of changing your life. For example, if you work in the construction industry, a neck injury can make it extremely difficult to do your job.
Just the same, an office worker with a neck injury can find him- or herself in a difficult position, as sitting at a desk all day can make things worse.
There are many steps you can take to prevent a neck injury at work, including the following:
- Adjust the height of your computer monitor: It's best to keep it at eye level, as this ensures that you can look straight ahead when working. This is extremely important among people who are in front of a computer for most of the day.
- Use a headset: For those who talk on the phone as part of their job, the use of a headset can reduce the risk of a neck injury. If you continue to tilt your head to the side to hold the phone between your ear and shoulder, there's a greater chance of injury.
- Stretch your neck: It's important to take breaks during your workday, as stretching your neck can help you prevent injury. Even if you only take five to 10 minute break, it's often enough to give you the rest you need.
- Drink enough water: Did you know that the more water you drink, the easier it is to hydrate the discs in your neck and back? It's difficult to stop for water breaks throughout your workday, but you should get into the habit of doing so.
- Watch what you're lifting: If lifting heavy items is a big part of your job, such is the case among movers, you should practice proper lifting technique. For example, lift with your legs and never attempt to carry more than you can comfortably handle.
Any type of neck injury, regardless of the cause, will alter your life for the time being (and maybe over the long term).
If you suffer an on-the-job neck injury, here are some steps to take:
- Call for medical help
- Follow the treatment plan outlined by your medical team
- Inform your employer of your injury
Once you do these things, it may then be time to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits.