Work Injuries

Work Injuries

As of 1989 the National Institute of Handicap Research (NIHR) estimated that every year 560,000 workers sustain injury or illness which disables them for over 5 month. Half of these never return to work.

Work Comp is the classification of an injury that occurs to an employee during the course of their normal work duties. There is really no one particular type of injury, though the most common is to the lower back. Just as there is no one particular type of injury there is also no one cause of work injury. Causes could include; slipping/fall, lifting, computer work, repetitive motions and even car accidents.

There are 2 main goals when treating work injuries; eliminating the patient’s pain and returning the patient back to work ASAP. It is also important to educate the patient in proper mechanics to help prevent the injury from reoccurring, if possible. We all know your body is your livelihood and it is important to protect it from injury/re-injury.

Common Complaints

As stated above the low back is the most common area to be injured, but symptoms can develop in any area of the body. Much depends on the employees work duties and the mechanism of injury. If you feel any type of pain or discomfort somewhere in your body it is important to have in looked at by a doctor.

How Can Chiropractic Help

Assuming the injury involves the spine it is important to seek out the care of a chiropractor. Muscles provide motion to the spine as well as some support, while the ligaments provide support to the spine. Certain injuries can cause stretching or tearing of these tissues resulting in localized or diffuse symptoms. Once this occurs, their ability to perform their designated functions is going to be impaired. Muscles and ligaments, when healthy, keep the spinal bones (vertebras) in proper alignment.

If the muscles and ligament are “loose” because they are stretched the vertebras can now slip out of proper alignment. This can possibly result in; increased pain around the vertebra, irritation to the disc, pinching of a nerve, decreased motion and advanced arthritis. Chiropractors restore proper alignment of the spinal bones by performing a gentle adjustment to the affected area. Also, chiropractors often utilize massage therapy, electric muscle stimulation, roller table, strengthening/stretching exercises, rehabilitation therapy and nutrition to speed the healing process and reduce pain to the damaged area.

Know Your Rights

  • In most instances you can see any chiropractor without a referral.
  • Contact the clinic of your choice to find out more.
  • The pain caused by an accident may not show up for days and even weeks after the accident.
  • If you are injured you may be entitled to reimbursement for missed work and mileage to and from doctor’s appointments.

The Facts

  • Chiropractic care can significantly reduce the amount of recovery time so employees can get back to work sooner. In Minnesota, chiropractic patients return to work 10 times sooner at 10 times less the cost than other back injury patients.
  • In Victoria, Australia, a one-year study of all workplace injuries involving back pain compared chiropractic and medical care and concluded that patients receiving chiropractic care required fewer compensation days to recover.
  • Chiropractic care is cost effective. A 1991 study published in the Utah Journal of Occupational Medicine compared chiropractic and medical care of the same diagnosis and found chiropractic care was 73 percent more cost effective per case in a study that examined over 3,000 cases.
  • Analysis of Florida WC medical claims for back-related injuries
    • Patients treated by chiropractors, compared to those treated by osteopaths or medical doctors, showed the lowest rate of incurring a compensable injury.
    • Of the patients who incurred compensable injuries, those treated by chiropractors were less likely to be hospitalized for treatment.
    • Considering the average number of services and the average cost per service chiropractic care for back injury represents a relatively cost effective approach to the management of work related injuries
  • Employers should take note of this. On a national and state level, documentation shows that employees file fewer disability claims after chiropractic treatment than after medical treatment. Employees treated by chiropractors also have less time off work per injury than employees treated by other medical providers.*
    • Chiropractic care is a cost and time effective alternative to traditional medical care of back injury.
  • If an individual suffers an acute low back injury, they are 4x more likely to have a reoccurrence. Appl Ergonomics 9.4:207-214, 1978

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