When a worker is asked to lift a heavy object, the individual may not use proper lifting techniques, resulting in an injury. If that worker lifts using their back instead of their legs, the damage done to the back can be enough to put that individual out of work until his or her muscles return to proper strength. However, as the back is made up of several main muscles, these injuries may vary depending on the affected area.
The latissimus dorsi stretches across the middle portion and side of the back, wrapping under the arm and shoulders to end in the middle of the lower back. This muscle, as displayed through the Latin meaning of its name, is the broadest of the back muscles. Like the other muscles of the back, the large size and common use of this muscle can make any lifting or even regular daily tasks a painful exercise.
Although lower back pain is more common from lifting injuries involving bending down and picking something up, there is a major muscle in the back that runs through the shoulders. The trapezius muscle, which runs from the neck to the dip of the latissimus dorsi in the middle of the back, can cause substantial pain in the upper back. This may even cause some agitation with the use of the shoulders and, by connection, broader motion in the arms.
The lumbar region consists of different muscles and tissue in the area, all which help to support the overall weight of the body. This region is a common source of chronic pain complaints, as well as being the usual site for a lifting injury. Lower back pain may range from slight to severe, often requiring sufferers to recover with little upright walking or sitting.
To learn more about a worker’s rights if they sustain a back injury while lifting something heavy, contact a workers’ compensation attorney.