Depending on your profession, you may have concerns about the overall health of your back and neck. For example, there may come a point when you have reason to believe you’re dealing with a herniated disk. This is a common problem among workers who regularly carry heavy loads.

If you find yourself in this position, schedule an immediate appointment with a specialist. Your doctor can perform a variety of tests in their office to better understand what’s happening. They will check your muscle strength, reflexes and ability to walk.

While a physical exam will tell your doctor a lot about your condition, they may also order a variety of imaging tests to get a closer look at your injury. These include:

  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • X-ray

If your doctor confirms that you have a herniated disk, here are some of the treatments they’ll discuss with you:

  • Medication, such as pain relievers and muscle relaxers
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery, such as a diskectomy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Massage
  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture

The type of treatment you require is based largely on the severity of your injury. While some herniated disks heal with nothing more than rest, others require surgical intervention.

If you suffer a back or neck injury on the job, it’s important to do the following:

  • Report the injury to your employer
  • Receive immediate medical attention
  • Follow the care plan outlined by your doctor

If you’re unable to return to work as you recover from a herniated disk, file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The money you receive can help you pay your bills until you can return to your job.