You go to work one day and you have to do an especially physical task. You accomplish it without incident, but it is hard, and you can tell that it’s taking a toll on your body.
The next day, you wake up and your back is in a lot of pain. What you’re not sure about is if you actually injured yourself and that’s the reason for the pain, or if you’re just feeling sore. After all, that may have been more extreme physical exercise than you tend to do on a normal basis, so some soreness is to be expected. But how do you know if it crosses the line into pain from an actual back injury?
Dull pain versus acute pain
The first thing to think about is just the type of pain you’re experiencing. If it’s just more of a dull ache, then it is probably just general soreness from the activity. If there is any sort of acute, sharp pain, especially when you move, that typically means that you have an actual injury.
You also just want to keep an eye on how the pain progresses. Soreness from exercise should decrease over the next few days. People are often the sorest two days after the exercise, and then things get significantly better. If your pain instead stays for multiple days or even begins to get worse, that means that you’ve probably injured something. The healing time is going to be a lot longer because there’s damage to tissue, nerves, bones, ligaments and other parts of your body, depending on what happened.
If you do have a serious back injury, it can have massive ramifications on the rest of your life and on your career. Make sure you know about all the rights you may have two workers’ compensation.