In addition to hands on manual therapy, we offer injured workers customized rehab programs to prepare them for an efficient return to work. These include back and neck safety education, work conditioning, personalized exercise plans, body mechanic assessments, ergonomic assessment and more to help patients get back on the job in a timely manner.
This is also to help them maintain their results long after their therapy has ended.
The first step is to report the incident to your employer as soon as possible and make an accurate documentation of the incident. If you need to seek treatment, ask your employer if they have a specific protocol for dealing with your particular incident. For example, do you need to see an occupational health doctor that your employer recommends? Also look into whether your state worker’s compensation regulation allows you to see your own physician, should you feel a need to see your own doctor. A good resource to consult with, in most states, is the Department of Industrial Accidents.
What is your approach to a work related injury?
We believe that early treatment is the best approach for effective healing and a swift return to work. We understand that getting injured at work can be frustrating, painful and create financial hardships in your life. Our physical therapists understand the demands of your job, and take into account any physical limitations that may affect your job performance when devising your treatment.
This common work-related injury may be aggravated by your desk chair. Make sure it is stable and comfortable to work in. With a properly adjusted seat, you should be able to sit up-right with good posture. Once your seat is properly adjusted, make sure the top of your monitor is about eye level and an arms length away directly in front of you. Once you have created a properly adjusted work environment (seat and equipment in correct position), you may need to consider taking short breaks every half hour for about 1-2 minutes to give your body a physical rest by changing positions and provide movement through your body. Standing up, walking, and doing some simple stretches can be very effective. If the condition does not improve or worsens consult with your employer to inquire if they have any ergonomic specialists to assist with your work station arrangement. Our therapists are always available for on-site consultation at your company’s request.
Lower back pain is the most common work-related injury. It is the number one cause of lost work days by employees. Scientific evidence suggests that the most effective physical therapy treatment is an active exercise program. A well prescribed exercise program should include global exercise (cardiovascular), semi-global exercise (full body functional exercise movement) and local exercise (specific low back and core exercise). Our therapists are experienced in prescribing exercise programs as part of their specialized training in Medical Exercise Therapy (MET).
The keys are education and early intervention. Education includes having the employee understand the demands of their job, the physical risks and how to minimize the risks with proper equipment, ergonomics and body mechanics. Early reporting is the most important factor in preventing an injury from developing. Generally, soreness and aches do not drive you to seek medical help. But when you have pain and decreased function (decrease ability to perform movements or tasks) then you will seek help. But the key is to “nip it in the bud” during the soreness and aching period so it doesn’t progress to pain and decreased function. Ask your employer if they have any education or early intervention programs to assist you with preventing injuries.