Working on one of Louisiana's navigable vessels comes with risks. While workers often make sure they do what they can to avoid the obvious risks associated with their jobs, they may not pay enough attention to the less dangerous, but potentially just as debilitating, dangers. For instance, a neck sprain may not seem serious, but it could keep a worker on land for some time.
A sudden twisting of the spine, a fall or whiplash could all lead to a neck sprain. When it happens, a worker may not think much of it, or it could cause excruciating pain. In fact, a neck sprain may not even happen in a sudden accident. It could result from a worker repeatedly forcing his or her joints beyond their normal limits. In either case, the resulting injury will undoubtedly be accompanied by pain.
In addition to the pain, a worker may experience headaches and muscle spasms in the shoulders. A neck sprain could cause the hands and/or arms to tingle, go numb or become weak. These symptoms could make an individual believe the pain actually originates from another site instead of the neck. Depending on the circumstances, the individual could even think his or her neck is broken.
In any case, a Louisiana worker who experiences these symptoms should seek medical attention since the situation could become worse without treatment. Some individuals may hesitate to report such an injury or seek medical attention. If the concern is missing work and not having the money to pay for medical and other care associated with a neck sprain, help could be available through the Jones Act or the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act.