You work hard to support yourself and your family. Working in a blue-collar field, whether your job is in a factory or in construction, means that you put your health and physical well-being on the line every day to do your job. It is common for minor injuries to occur at work if you work a physically demanding job.
Given that minor injuries and pain are probably part of the work, you may feel inclined to ignore injuries when they first occur. You probably assume that they will get better over time and that as long as you can continue working, you should.
While that kind of work ethic is admirable, it could lead to lasting damage. If you hurt your back on the job, you need to get it checked out sooner rather than later. A proper diagnosis can help you secure the right treatment and get you back on the job.
Untreated back injuries can get worse over time
Most of the time, when you pull a muscle, it will get better if you give it rest. However, if you work a physical job, you probably can't actually rest your back for more than a few hours at a time. You may think to yourself that continuing to work is your best option, particularly because your family depends on the money you make.
However, your back injury could get worse if you don't treat it. For example, if you have pinched a nerve, allowing your back a chance to heal will benefit you. Otherwise, you could make the injury to the nerve worse.
Similarly, if you have a slipped disc or have torn a muscle or tendon in your back, continuing to work could make the tear even worse. It could go from something that would heal with rest and perhaps physical therapy exercises to a permanent or chronic injury that will require surgical intervention for a full recovery.
Workers' compensation protects your income so you don't have to worry
One of the main reasons people give for trying to work through an injury is concern about their family's income. You may not be able to pay your bills without some income. If you report your injury to your employer and seek medical care, you can potentially qualify for temporary disability benefits through workers' compensation.
These benefits will provide you with a portion of your wages so that your family can make ends meet during your recovery. Workers' compensation can also ensure that you connect with the best medical care without needing to pay out-of-pocket.
Reporting injury means getting the benefits you need
Maybe you think putting off reporting your injury for now is a good idea. After all, you don't want to make a big deal out of a minor injury and have your employer think of you as the boy who cried wolf. Unfortunately, if you don't report the accident and later develop severe injuries related to it, you will have a hard time proving that your injuries relate to a work accident.
Although you may never need the benefits, it is always better to report an accident or injury to your employer, especially if it involves your back, neck or head, in case you experience delayed onset symptoms that require medical care in the future.