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Understanding Common Nerve Injuries in the Workplace

Workplace nerve injuries often arise from posture, heavy lifting, repetitive tasks, and tool vibrations. Speak with a workers compensation attorney 24/7.


The central nervous system, consisting of over 86 billion neurons in the brain and spinal cord, is one of the most complex aspects of the human body. Nerves branch out from the spinal cord, reaching all parts of the body. These nerves relay electrical signals between the brain and body, enabling interaction with the environment.

Regrettably, nerves are among the structures most susceptible to workplace injuries. In this article, we’ll delve into the diverse range of nerve injuries often sustained in the workplace. Our goal is to arm you with knowledge to prevent these injuries and, if impacted, understand your legal rights.

Back and Spinal Injuries

The spinal cord alone contains about 69 million nerve cells. It plays a pivotal role in coordinating movements and transmitting sensory information. Since many work activities involve the back—which houses the spinal column—there’s a risk of injury. Improper posture, lifting heavy objects, and repetitive actions can result in back and spine issues.

Nerve-damaging back and spinal injuries include herniated discs, sprains, strains, and sciatica. If you suspect you’ve suffered one of these injuries, you will typically benefit from the assistance of a licensed orthopedic specialist or chiropractor.

Brachial Plexus Injury

Lifting and throwing heavy objects can lead to a brachial plexus injury. This happens when the brachial plexus nerves—extending through the neck, shoulder, arms, and hands—are overstretched.

Symptoms include numbness in the arm or hand, sharp pain in the shoulder, and restricted arm and shoulder movement. It’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly if you experience these symptoms.

Hand and Wrist Injuries

Hands contain critical nerves, enabling tactile interaction with the world. However, repetitive movements, awkward hand positions, and trauma can injure these nerves. Such injuries can drastically affect your work capabilities, and ignoring symptoms exacerbates the problem.

The most prevalent hand and wrist condition is carpal tunnel syndrome, resulting from median nerve compression. Symptoms include arm weakness and tingling sensations. Hand exercises, wrist splints, and pain relievers can alleviate symptoms of carpal tunnel and similar ailments.

Vibration-Induced Neuropathy

Operating hand tools can expose you to intense vibrations. Although they may seem benign, these vibrations can lead to vibration-induced neuropathy. Symptoms encompass numbness and tingling in the hand and a potential decline in dexterity. Weakness, pain, and arm discomfort might also occur.

Have You Suffered a Nerve Injury at Work? We’re Here to Help

Work-related nerve injuries can happen despite precautions. If injury mandates time off, concerns about lost wages and medical expenses arise. Workers’ compensation should generally address these financial concerns.

Navigating the workers’ compensation process can be daunting, especially during recovery. At The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann our experienced legal team is here to assist you, ensuring you receive the support needed for a full recovery. Give us a call 24/7 for a free case evaluation.

Speak With a Workers Comp Attorney

Give us a call 24/7 for a FREE Case Evaluation

Call (314) 361-4300
Updated: October 16, 2023