Despite taking precautions, workers sometimes sustain injuries on the job that require more than a bandage or bag of ice. Some serious workplace injuries call for a medical professional’s experience and resources.
By understanding the benefits of physical therapy, injured employees get the required treatment to help them recover fully from their medical issues and get back to work as quickly as possible.
A common work injury like a back, neck, or shoulder injury can lead to chronic pain that is difficult to live with. Physical therapists use manual therapy and other techniques, some requiring patient participation, to help injured workers begin the recovery process.
Some workplace injuries result in ongoing, unbearable pain. Workers’ compensation physical therapy offers relief, and physical therapists also teach patients how to manage their pain. Those who would prefer not to take medication to address their discomfort may feel more comfortable with a reputable physical therapist’s drug-free pain management options.
According to the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), more injured workers are using physical therapy visits to help them deal with pain from their injuries.
Depending on the harm sustained, and the patient’s previous medical records and history, visiting a physical therapy clinic after a workplace incident could help an injured worker avoid surgery.
A physical therapist could provide treatment that the patient needs to recover, potentially eliminating the need for a medical procedure. To better avoid surgery, it makes sense for injured workers to see a physical therapist experienced in occupational therapy as quickly as possible after the injury.
Some workplace injuries leave workers unable to move or move without pain. Tight muscles and stiff joints could make it difficult to perform everyday tasks, such as climbing stairs and using a ladder to reach high shelves. Remaining immobile could lead to additional complications, such as weak or atrophied muscles.
The longer a person remains immobile, the harder it becomes for the person to regain her or his mobility. The benefits of physical therapy include recovering mobility through various exercises.
After sustaining harm, workers must exercise caution to avoid further harming themselves or reinjuring themselves after recovering and going back to work. While receiving workers’ compensation physical therapy, patients learn how to move and protect themselves so they do not worsen their condition or impede their recovery.
For instance, a physical therapist teaches patients proper form, so they grow stronger and regain their flexibility. Therapists also know how to increase a patient’s training gently to make reinjury and overexertion less likely. After making a full recovery, workers may continue using the lessons learned in physical therapy to improve their physical health.
Return to Work Stronger
Visiting a physical therapy clinic may allow workers to return to the office stronger than before. Not only do physical therapists help patients manage their discomfort and injury symptoms, but they also help patients pinpoint other problem areas. With the proper treatments, patients strengthen their bodies and regain their independence.
Some injuries and symptoms drain patients of their will to focus on recovering. Being unable to take part in one’s favorite activities could make it difficult to stay hopeful about healing. A harmed employee’s primary source of motivation may come from a physical therapist rather than from within.
Strengthen your Core
To better heal from injuries and boost their strength, patients must focus on improving their core. Physical therapists teach harmed workers how to stabilize and strengthen their core to better support their healing and the rest of their bodies.
Undergo Work Conditioning
To restore their ability to perform their job duties, injured employees could require a rehabilitation or work conditioning program. While intense, these programs also help workers ease back into the workplace. Experienced physical therapists know how to complete in-depth injury evaluations to better understand how workplace injuries limit overall functionality and different parts of the body.
Common Work-Related Injuries
Aside from understanding what physical therapy can do for them, those injured in workplace accidents also deserve to understand the most common work-related injuries that may require physical therapy. When employees have all the facts on the matter, they make better-informed decisions regarding their health.
With a better understanding of common harm sustained on the clock, patients may have a better idea of what kind of physical therapy they need.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Workers sometimes slip on wet or oily floors, trip because of insufficient lighting or tumble off ladders while working in construction zones. While the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) creates fall safety requirements for work environments like construction zones, employees, employers and third parties must all work together to protect each other.
Injuries sustained from slips, trips and falls that seem minor may have enduring consequences, making it that much more essential that workers let a physical therapist examine them.
It may shock employees to learn how easily they may experience a neck injury at work. Repetitive motions, such as moving the neck the same way multiple times, could cause a repetitive motion disorder. Slipping and falling may also cause a neck injury.
Much like the neck, workers could easily injure their backs if they do not stay tuned in to how they move at work. For example, a person may lift a heavy item with improper form or without help and injure her or his back. Repetitive motions could trigger a back injury because of the accumulated physical stress. Even office workers may suffer from back injuries if they sit behind a desk all day without taking breaks to stretch.
Muscle Strains and Overexertion
Examples of overexertion injuries include muscle strains and repetitive strain injuries. Such harm may reduce overall productivity and trigger long-term pain. Common causes of such workplace injuries include manually handling heavy boxes, using improper lifting techniques, engaging in repetitive tasks without proper breaks and typing on a keyboard with improper form.
Other than undergoing physical therapy, other effective treatments for overexertion and muscle strains include taking frequent breaks and stretching before engaging in physically taxing tasks. Employees should also use mechanical lifting equipment to handle anything that weighs over 50 pounds.
Struck by Falling Objects, Equipment, or Workers
Walking into a wall or kitchen counter at home may end in a moment of amusement, but the same occurrence in a high-risk work environment, such as a construction zone, could end in injury and require medical attention and physical therapy treatments. For instance, employees may sever fingers or limbs, harm their hands, sustain traumatic brain injuries or break bones.
Reasons for the work injury include excessive vibration, poorly secured machinery, falling tools, dropped loads and tipping over heavy work equipment. Workers may also walk into machinery or walls and become hurt.
Those who drive for a living or work around commercial vehicles could become involved in a motor vehicle collision. Common reasons for commercial vehicle accidents range from becoming trapped beneath an overturned vehicle and falling from a vehicle to tractor-trailer accidents and becoming struck by items falling from a commercial vehicle.
Exposure to Harmful Environments and Substances
Employees who work around dangerous chemicals or in loud environments could endure harm to their ears, eyes, respiratory systems and skin if they do not don proper protection or if their employer neglects to provide them with sufficient protection.
Explosions and Fire
While not the most common example of a workplace injury, being caught in an explosion or fire could require workers’ comp physical therapy. Fires and explosions may severely damage the respiratory system and burn body tissue.
Other Common Workers’ Comp Treatments
Depending on the workplace injury, a patient could require several therapies or medical care professionals outside a physical therapy clinic. Medical treatment guidelines can vary by discipline.
Here are common treatments for work-related harm.
Those who want to return to work and regain their capacity to earn a living as quickly as possible may undergo occupational therapy. Occupational therapists do not limit their professional focus to restoring functionality. Instead, they take inspiration from everyday tasks to help injured employees regain and maintain their job skills.
When workplace accidents end in traumatic brain injuries, those harmed may receive neuropsychological therapy. Such treatment involves completing psychometric evaluations to gauge mental and neurological health.
Mental Health Therapy
Other than physical harm, workplace injuries may cause psychological trauma workers may not immediately notice. Those especially vulnerable to emotional and mental problems after a workplace accident include workers who depend on their jobs for immigrant status, monetary or medical support. These workers may experience anxiety, stress or depression regarding housing, debt, family support, deportation and employment security.
Psychological stress may hinder physical healing. Receiving treatment from a mental health professional as soon as possible after a workplace incident could increase a person’s chances of making a full emotional and physical recovery.
Workers’ Compensation Doctor Resources in New York
If you hurt yourself at work recently, explore the benefits of physical therapy from the professionals at Workers’ Comp Doctor. We aim to help put you in touch with workers’ compensation physicians in your area.
Using our list of doctors that are authorized by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, you have everything you need to find a licensed physical therapist conveniently located in your zip code who have the experience and resources necessary to diagnose and treat your workplace injury according to the latest medical treatment guidelines (MTGs). In addition to providing medical services, these specialists can perform functional capacity evaluations to determine whether your injury prevents you from working.
We can help you find quality care by connecting you with various medical specialists and providers to help you, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, physical rehabilitation doctors, pain management specialists, and chiropractic care centers that can help you begin the healing process.
You cannot afford to put off receiving competent, trusted medical care after enduring harm in the workplace. If you want to learn more about the benefits of physical therapy or have any more questions about seeing one of our licensed physical therapists, call one of our representatives at 888-590-4030 or submit an online form. Physical therapists accept workers’ compensation insurance, no-fault, and other insurance plans. Same-day appointments may be available.