Are you recovering from a workplace injury?
A workplace injury happens every 7 seconds. The effects of those injuries can range from a minor bruise or scrape to a severe muscle tear or broken bone.
No matter what the injury, seeing a doctor immediately is crucial to your worker’s compensation case and your health. Waiting can hurt your chances of having the injury covered. It can also cause more problems to develop.
Figuring out when to see chiropractor care providers can be confusing. You may associate it only with back pain, but chiropractors can treat many conditions.
Some people visit chiropractors regularly for adjustments, but many people see them after an injury or for other health conditions. About 67% of people who see a chiropractor do so to treat a health condition.
We’ve put together a list of seven reasons you should see a chiropractor after a workplace injury.
What Is a Chiropractor?
Chiropractors undergo four years of chiropractic school after earning a four-year degree. They must be licensed by the state to practice.
Chiropractic focuses on the spine and joints. It also takes into account how the musculoskeletal system connects with the nervous system.
The goal of chiropractic care is to realign your musculoskeletal system. The idea is that realigning the structures helps the body heal itself.
Injuries often cause a misalignment in the system. That misalignment can cause additional pain and make it more difficult for the body to heal. By seeing a chiropractor after your injury, you may help heal and get back to your normal routine faster.
Chiropractic is considered a generally safe option for treating pain. Chiropractors focus on using their hands to manually adjust the systems. They use controlled force on specific parts of the spine.
Patients see chiropractors for overall well-being and health, but they also go for specific injuries and health conditions. Treatment usually focuses on issues and pain in the musculoskeletal system.
Chiropractic services are covered by most health care plans. Worker’s compensation also typically covers this type of treatment. That makes it an affordable option when you need care.
One thing that you need to be mindful of, is that some states, like New York, require chiropractors and other medical providers to be authorized by the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB authorized medical providers).
Chiropractors work in medical offices, just like medical doctors. Many have their own offices, but they may work in other facilities.
When you go to the chiropractor for your workplace injury, you can expect a similar experience to any medical appointment.
The chiropractor starts with your medical history. Always be honest with your chiropractor about pre-existing conditions or past injuries.
Next is a physical exam to evaluate the injury. Chiropractors may use diagnostic imaging or other testing to help make a diagnosis and determine the type of treatment needed.
The doctor then creates a treatment plan customized to your needs.
Manual adjustments are a major part of chiropractic care. It involves controlled force on the joints. You may need multiple adjustments over a period of time to treat your workplace injury.
Chiropractors may include other natural approaches to treating pain and injuries. That could include soft tissue treatments and nutritional counseling.
You may also receive a set of exercises to complete at home. These exercises are designed to support the chiropractic adjustments and to support the healing process.
1. Receive Natural, Non-Invasive Treatment
Chiropractors tend to take a more conservative approach to treating workers’ comp injuries. They try to help patients restore function without invasive medical interventions or drugs.
Medical doctors may prescribe pain relievers as the first course of action to treat a workplace injury. You want the pain to stop, but you may not want to take those powerful prescription drugs.
Pain killers work by disrupting the pain signals sent to your brain by your nerve endings. They don’t actually repair the injury or do anything to heal it. They simply cover up the pain to make you feel better.
While that relief is welcome, it’s also temporary. When the medication wears off, the pain returns.
Prescription pain medication can also be addictive, which potentially sets you up for more problems in the future.
Pain killers can also affect your mental clarity. You may not be able to operate equipment or drive when you’re on strong pain relievers. That can keep you out of work or disrupt your normal life activities.
Chiropractors focus on treating the cause of the pain instead of just masking it. The procedures can help encourage the body to heal the injury, which helps you experience less pain faster. You may feel immediate relief after your chiropractic care.
The techniques used by chiropractors are natural, so you don’t have to worry about addiction or unwanted side effects.
Chiropractic treatment is also non-invasive. Instead of jumping right to surgical options for treating an injury, trying chiropractic care is an option. It may help you avoid going under the knife.
Avoiding surgery is beneficial in multiple ways. It saves you money. A trip to the chiropractor is much more affordable than the hospital bills associated with surgery.
Surgery can sometimes have negative side effects. Some people have reactions to the anesthesia. Infection and difficulty in healing the incision can also be concerns with surgery.
It also cuts down on your recovery time. Recovering from surgery can take days, weeks, or even months depending on the scope of the surgery.
If you can find relief in a non-invasive method, you can get back to work and other activities much faster. Chiropractic treatment may decrease your pain immediately, so you feel up to working or doing everyday activities.
2. Speed Up the Healing Process
Workplace injuries can cause many different issues with your body. Your body may undergo jerking, shaking, or violent movement if you fall or are in a work vehicle accident.
That jarring motion can damage soft tissues and affect your spinal alignment. Getting your body back into alignment is important in letting it naturally heal itself.
Chiropractic treatment may help speed up healing and get you back to work faster by restoring proper alignment. The adjustment can ease pressure on your muscles, which relieves pain and promotes healing.
The spinal manipulation may also reduce the inflammation that happens naturally in your body after trauma. The damage caused to your tissues can cause inflammation that affects your use of those tissues.
By reducing the inflammation, your body is better able to heal. This can help you feel better overall and reduce your healing time.
Chiropractors can also help reduce the amount of scar tissue that develops in the body. Scar tissue develops naturally as an injury heals. But it can also cause more problems down the road with continued discomfort, stiffness, tension, or pain.
Working those areas helps heal the scar tissue. This can support faster overall healing and reduced pain.
The treatment may also improve your circulation, which can support the healing process.
3. Increase Range of Motion and Flexibility
Work injuries may suddenly limit your range of motion and flexibility. Injuries to joints make it difficult to move them normally.
Pain in other parts of your body can also limit your movement. You naturally limit your movement when it causes pain. This limits what you’re able to do after your injury.
If you avoid moving in a certain way for a long period of time, it can make the situation worse. You might develop stiffness or scar tissue in those joints. This can limit your movement even more and cause additional pain.
A spinal adjustment or manipulation can help improve your range of motion. Realigning your bones and joints gets your body back into healing mode. It may make your joints more comfortable to move.
Chiropractors may also use other techniques to support the alignment, such as massage, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound. These therapies may help ease the pain and increase your range of motion faster.
4. Avoid Chronic Conditions
Left untreated, your workplace injuries could cause chronic pain and other issues. Many injuries result in chronic headaches or migraines, which can interfere with your daily life. Chiropractors can help treat headaches.
Over time, injuries to the body can cause arthritis. By receiving treatment right away, you can experience the healing that may help you avoid those chronic health problems.
Not only do you receive relief now, but you help yourself avoid a lifetime of pain and issues. This also helps you avoid future treatment and expensive medical bills to correct those ongoing issues.
5. Uncover Additional Injuries
Some injuries are easy to identify right away. Doctors can diagnose broken bones easily with X-rays. They can see physical injuries on your body.
But other injuries are more difficult to detect. The initial pain or swelling might hide other issues, causing a delay in the diagnosis.
In other situations, symptoms don’t always show up immediately.
Say you were in an accident in a work vehicle and experienced a whiplash injury. Sometimes the symptoms don’t appear for 24 hours or longer after the accident. You may not realize you have the injury initially.
Seeing a chiropractor right away may help ease those symptoms or prevent them completely. If you do feel additional symptoms after the accident, your chiropractor can help figure out what’s causing those symptoms.
Since chiropractors have access to diagnostic imaging, labs, and other testing, they can use those resources to figure out what’s happening. They can also refer you to a primary care physician or specialist once new injuries or conditions are identified.
6. Document Your Injuries
The key to a successful worker’s compensation claim is early treatment and documentation. Having a doctor back you can increase your chances of getting your claim approved compared to doing it on your own.
Your chiropractor will document all aspects of your treatment in your medical files. This can become an important part of your worker’s compensation claim. The documentation can establish a connection between the work accident and your injuries.
Many chiropractic doctors have experience in treating and documenting workplace injuries. They know what to look for and what they need to document to support your worker’s compensation claim. They can complete the necessary paperwork needed for your claim.
The chiropractor will document the initial diagnosis to establish the connection. The doctor will continue taking detailed notes at each visit. This helps track your recovery and any ongoing medical issues you have, which can help helpful for your worker’s compensation claim.
Having that documentation can increase your chances of receiving financial compensation for the injury. It can help cover your medical bills, lost income, and other financial costs that come from the injury.
7. Treat a Variety of Injuries
Chiropractors can treat a number of conditions, not just spinal issues. The treatment can address pain in many body parts, including the back, shoulders, neck, and arms.
Chiropractic care can relieve headaches associated with your workplace injury. It can also be effective in treating carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic tendonitis, and similar repetitive strain injuries.
The treatment can also help overall pain relief and well-being. By choosing a chiropractor, you can see one health care professional for a number of issues. This can save you time and money over going to multiple specialists.
If you start with conservative chiropractic care but it doesn’t work completely, you can move on to other types of treatments. You don’t have to choose one type of treatment and stick with it no matter what happens.
Chiropractors work regularly with other medical professionals. That means your chiropractor can refer you to a specialist or other medical professional if needed.
If you’re receiving treatment from a primary care doctor, surgeon, or other medical care experts, your chiropractor will stay in communication with them. The different doctors work together to best treat your condition and pain.
When to See Chiropractor
If you’re wondering when to see chiropractor doctors, the answer is as soon as possible after a workplace injury. Chiropractors can treat a number of conditions with non-invasive, drug-free treatments that can help you heal faster. You may find this conservative method of treatment is enough to improve your injury, saving you time and money.
Are you suffering from a workplace injury that may benefit from chiropractic care? Call (888) 590-4030 to find a workers’ comp chiropractor near you to schedule an appointment today.