Specific lifting, twisting, reaching and bending motions can cause a sprain/strain injury to various regions in the body. In a sprain strain injury, employees can usually pinpoint the exact movement or action that caused the injury. For example, it may be lifting a box at work, reaching overhead to place an object on a shelf or trying to restrain a patient in a healthcare facility. Common areas that are injured at work due to a specific incident of lifting, twisting, reaching or bending include the lower back, middle back, upper back, neck, shoulder and knee.
It is also common for employees to slip and fall at work for various reasons. A slip and fall may be due to a wet floor, icy sidewalk or tripping over an unforeseen object. In any case, a slip and fall can cause injuries to various muscle and joints in the body.
Repetitive motion injuries are also common workplace injuries. These types of injuries occur over time after performing the same type of movement over and over again. Repetitive motions include repetitive lifting, twisting, bending, reaching and typing movements. Examples of repetitive motion injuries include chronic back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.
HOW DO CHIROPRACTORS WITH PHYSICAL THERAPY PRIVILEGES TREAT WORK INJURIES?
- Physiotherapy modalities: electric muscle stimulation, ultrasound, traction, moist heat, cold packs, trigger point therapy
- Stretching and range of motion exercises
- Specific rehabilitation or strength exercises using manual resistance, exercise tubing, exercise balls, balance boards and wobble boards
- Joint mobilization or manipulation techniques
- Ergonomic and lifestyle advice
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A WORK INJURY?
If you are seriously injured at work, many people voluntarily or involuntarily go to the hospital in order to rule out life threatening injuries. Emergency room care will consist of a various treatments based on the severity of the injuries. These treatments can include a medical evaluation, x-rays, CT scans, MRIs and prescription medications such as muscle relaxants and pain medications. In most cases, once life threatening injuries have been ruled out, the patient will be discharged and be advised to follow up with a primary care physician, orthopedist or physical medicine clinic. Most emergency room discharge papers will have the diagnosis of sprain/strain injury.
Workers Compensation Insurance:
If you are hurt at work, you must notify your boss or human resources department as soon as possible. You will then be issued a claim number along with the name of the workers compensation insurance carrier and claim adjuster’s name and phone number. Any medical treatment that you seek as a result of being injured at work will be submitted to the workers compensation insurance carrier under this claim number. Obtaining a workers compensation claim number can be a very slow process. Some companies process information more quickly than others. Do not wait to seek medical treatment until you have a claim number. If you are hurt, seek out the necessary treatment as soon as possible. You may also be advised through your work that you are limited as to where you can seek medical treatment, which is typically not the case. In most cases, a person is free to choose the health care provider that best suits his or her needs.
If you are seriously injured on the job, it is reasonable to consider working with an attorney who specializes in workers compensation claims. Attorneys who specialize in handling workers compensation claims can simplify the process of being hurt on the job, deal with the insurance companies, ensure that you receive the proper medical treatment and maximize any compensation.
Primary Care Physician or Orthopedist
If you decide to go to a primary care physician or an orthopedist after the hospital, it is common for a new medical evaluation to be performed, additional x-rays or other advanced diagnostic imaging to be ordered and changes made or refills added to your medication. After this, it is common to be referred to a physical medicine clinic in order to begin treatment for soft tissue injuries. This is where Bezak Chiropractic and Rehabilitation can help.
Bezak Chiropractic and Physical Therapy Treatment
Treatment begins with a comprehensive evaluation and examination in order to determine specific muscle injury, ligamentous injury, range of motion deficiency, vertebral segmental dysfunction, nerve injury and other problems. X-rays may be taken at our facility if necessary. After your initial evaluation, our doctors will explain your exam findings, diagnosis, treatment plan and prognosis. A typical treatment plan involves a series of treatments at a frequency of 3 visits per week over a period of weeks. Repetitive treatments are important in order to make changes in the muscles and joints. A time commitment on the patient’s end is necessary in order to accomplish the treatment goals. Our office will provide you with any necessary paperwork for work or school in order to ensure that you keep your appointments so that you can achieve the best results. The treatment goal is to decrease pain, decrease inflammation, increase range of motion, strengthen damaged soft tissues and increase activities of daily living.
IS THE TREATMENT PAINFUL?
The initial phases of the treatment are quite relaxing. However, due to the nature of sprain/strain injuries, there is always a possibility that a patient can develop mild soreness after treatment. Any soreness experienced or lack thereof will give our doctors the best information about how to proceed with your treatment from visit to visit. Treatment for these injuries is not a “no pain no gain” strategy. If anything, slight discomfort is the most discomfort you should experience if you are receiving appropriate therapy.
INABILITY TO WORK DUE TO INJURIES:
Â Severe pain and discomfort is common with soft tissue injuries. In the event that you are unable to work due to your injuries, our doctors will provide the necessary documentation to excuse you from work if necessary. Short term disability forms and FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) forms are sometimes necessary as well. If this is the case for your injury during your treatment, simply bring the paperwork to our office, and our doctors will complete the necessary paperwork. Short term disability forms and FMLA forms are time sensitive forms. If you need these forms, please make sure that you get them to us as quickly as possible. Once you bring the paperwork to our office, the forms will be completed and submitted in a timely manner.
Progress evaluations will be performed periodically (typically every 4 weeks). The purpose of the progress evaluations is to document improvements in pain, range of motion, muscle spasms, muscle strength and activities of daily living. Progress evaluations are also used in order to determine if additional therapy or a change in treatment is necessary. Additional treatment may include more of the same therapy, a change in the therapy or a referral to another medical specialist.
Due to the complex nature of soft tissue injuries, you may be referred to additional medical specialists such as an orthopedic surgeon or neurologist. Our doctors work with various medical specialists on a regular basis in order to provide additional treatment when necessary.
You will be discharged from this particular treatment at some point. There are generally three types of discharges. In most cases, patients will recover completely with no residual pain and discomfort. Sometimes, patients will be discharged with low levels of pain that will continue to improve with time and a detailed prescribed exercise program. Not as often, patients will be left with permanent or residual pain and discomfort that is unlikely to go away with time and home exercises.
Please feel free to ask our doctors any questions that you may have at any point during your treatment.
If you have been hurt at work and would like to schedule an appointment or speak
with one of our doctors prior to starting treatment, please call our office at 301-220-0496!