Work-related injuries (or sometimes referred to as worker’s compensation claims) can be devastating to a worker, their family, and their team. Physical therapy and rehabilitation is often the most appropriate treatment, including manual physical therapy, exercises, and modalities to return the worker to full health and working capacity. The therapist can also assess the patient’s work duties and provide exercises that simulate workplace requirements, or recommend changes to the workplace to allow the worker to be productive and healthy.
Objective evaluations are performed to assess a worker’s condition post-injury, as well as help determine when the patient is ready to return to work. For instance, a functional capacity evaluation (FCE) analyzes the patient’s ability to perform work tasks such as lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, stooping, squatting, kneeling, climbing, overhead reaching, crawling, and bending. Results are shared with the attending physician and case manager to determine when the patient is ready to go back to work, and what modifications would allow the worker to go back sooner, and yet still allow for full-recovery and full-performance.
Some employers in physically demanding industries obtain the assistance of physical therapists to identify pre-existing conditions for work injury claims, assess functional abilities and job compatibility, and teach proper lifting mechanics and exercises to prevent work-place injuries. Sometimes this is in the medical office, and sometimes physical therapists are brought to the workplace to train employers and employees alike how to improve work conditions and behaviors to decrease the risk of workplace injuries. This proactive approach prevents unnecessary time off and restricted-duty days – a win-win for all parties.
Physical therapists also frequently called into office environments to perform workplace ergonomics assessments. Ergonomics can be thought of as the “fit” between the worker, the work environment, and the work performed. Physical therapists can make recommendations to both the employers and the employees to reduce strain, improve posture, modify tools and equipment, and improve employee comfort and productivity.
If you have suffered a workplace injury, it’s critical that you get the help you need so you can recover quickly, feel better, and get back to earning your living. Physical therapy and rehabilitation may be appropriate for your injury, and a physical therapist or rehabilitation specialist might be helpful in improving your work environment to reduce future injuries.
Absolute Wellness Center in Eugene, OR provides sports medicine, chiropractic medicine, naturopathic medicine, physical rehabilitation, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, and more. To learn more about physical therapy and injury recovery, including more information on our physical therapy team, please don’t hesitate to call us at 541-484-5777.