Have you ever had to miss work or file for disability due to an injury sustained on the job?
If so, you’re not alone: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 2.9 million people sustained nonfatal work injuries or illnesses in 2016. Estimate annual costs exceed billions of dollars in direct and indirect costs for managing these occupational conditions and their consequences.
Given these statistics, it’s clear that preventing and treating work injury has important economic, psychosocial, and physical implications. Physical and Occupational Therapists play a major role in this endeavor. We encourage you to call us if you or a loved one is injured on the job. Most of the time, Worker’s Compensation covers the cost of treatment.
General Guidelines for Securing Workman’s Compensation
In order for your work injury rehab to be covered with a Worker’s Compensation claim, Physical or Occupational Therapy treatment needs to be ordered by your physician. The insurance company must also give approval.
In order to ensure a successful Worker’s Compensation claim, it’s imperative to report your injury to your employer right away and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Taking these steps can help you avoid additional stress.
What are Common Types of Work Injury?
Common conditions for which people seek Worker’s Compensation claims include:
- Bursitis (inflammation of a fluid-filled sac, generally found between tendons and bones)
- Tendonitis (inflammation of a tendon, which connects muscle to bone)
- Muscle strains and ligament sprains (micro-tears in the connective tissue fibers)
- Sciatica (compression of the sciatic nerve in the lower back)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (compression of the median nerve in the wrist)
- Plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot)
- Whiplash (strain in the cervical spine due to rapid acceleration/deceleration of the body)
- Fractures (broken bones)
- Crush injuries (crushing injury, usually to a hand or arm)
- Contusions and lacerations (severe bumps, bruises, and cuts)
- Fall-related injuries (Sprains, strains, fractures)
The above list isn’t all-inclusive. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, many employees also go on to struggle with secondary complications including chronic conditions such as degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis.
Common Causes of a Work Injury
Virtually no job or job field is immune to injury risk: both sedentary jobs (e.g., office workers, teachers, long-haul truckers), as well as more physically demanding jobs (e.g., construction workers, first responders), can impose potential health hazards to employees.
The following are a few of the most common causes of a work-related injury:
- Repetitive movement, especially typing, assembly line work, and overhead movement
- Excessive sitting
- Lifting heavy objects
- Being struck by falling objects
- Operating heavy machinery
- Slips and falls
- Work-related motor vehicle accidents
Many of these causative factors are cumulative, meaning that, over time, they can weaken an area of the body and cause inflammation and tissue damage. In other cases, the precipitating event is sudden and acute (such as in the case of a slip and fall).
Even when employers and companies due to their due diligence to minimize the prevalence of work injuries, incidents can and do occur. In these cases, timely and appropriate rehabilitative care is essential.
How a Physical or Occupational Therapist Can Treat & Prevent Work-Related Injuries
Following a sports injury, athletes are highly concerned with return-to-play. Among employees injured on the job, it’s return-to-work which is often most concerning. Understandably so, as there are often serious financial hardships associated with lost wages for the individual and his or her family.
So, if a work injury is preventing you from keeping up on the job, scheduling a consult with a Physical or Occupational Therapist is a wise choice better done sooner than later. They can help you get back to work as soon as possible while also maximizing your outcomes and alleviating problematic symptoms. Your Physical Therapist can often do this without the use of drugs or invasive procedures, instead relying on a combination of manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, and modalities to facilitate healing and recovery.
Together, these types of treatments can heal injured tissues, reduce inflammation and pain, restore normal mobility and postural alignment, and increase muscle strength and aerobic endurance.
If your productivity, job satisfaction, and general health are currently impacted by a work injury, Contact Us Today at Pinellas Park & Seminole, FL Centers! Our team can implement an individualized and evidence-based work injury rehab program to get you back to work and back to your physical potential.