Workplace Injuries: When You Need to See a Physical Therapist
While many folks today are telecommuting if they can due to the global health crisis, some people still have job sites or a cubical to commute to for work. Companies are supposed to adhere to safety protocols and training but at the end of the day, things still can happen. And during this trying time some companies are able to help workers where they are after an injury, and come to them.
When you get injured at work no matter how minor it is, it could cause serious problems later on. From slipping on a wet floor and hurting your legs and feet to having something falls off a shelf onto your head in a stock room, your cubicle cabinet or even at a job site. There are also incidences where workers could be let into a building too early after chemicals are sprayed—you could inhale toxic substances which are extremely hazardous to your health.
Some types of common workplace injuries caused by:
- Caught in machinery
- Car accidents
- Struck by an object
- Repetitive motion injuries or over exertion from tasks
- Toxic air related injuries (older buildings can have mold issues, lead paint—also spraying chemicals in or around the building)
- Blood born pathogens (occupational hazards mostly, like in healthcare settings, usually)
Report it, always and get to an emergency clinic or local doctor ASAP.
No matter what injury or incident that occurs that can be a health hazard, you should always report it as soon as possible to your supervisor or someone on duty. And of course, it’s even better if you have a witness. Even if you feel okay after the injury happens, you should still go to an emergency clinic, emergency room at the nearest hospital or your own doctor when it happens. You need to get an evaluation to see if you need treatment or other assistance from a specialist doctor or a physical therapist.
You may need physical therapy to improve your injury
This way, you’ll have covered all your bases if something should happen later to your health. Sometimes day, weeks, even months later an injury could get worse or you become sick in some other way. While many injuries may seem minor, however, they could later on need surgery or some kind of rehab with physical therapy intervention—and many times this kind of program should start fairly soon after the injury.
Do you really need physical therapy (PT) and what is looked at?
While not every injury needs physical therapy, you may need it depending on your injury sustained—a doctor or specialist may recommend you seeing someone for assistance to get better. When you have a muskoskeletal injury a variety of items are looked at:
- Vascular system
Typically, any injury or accident that affected your body—like your head, neck, lower back, legs, shoulders, arms, hands, knees, and feet, could potentially benefit from a PT program. There are PT specialists who work with issues such as office place safety and ergonomics as well, if your injury warrants this kind of assistance.
You may still need to see an orthopedic doctor or surgeon to better understand your injury. While CT scans, X-rays, MRIs are effective at diagnosis, they are more hazardous to health. Ultrasounds are being used more and are less invasive imagery for the patient and can many times be more effective; it does need to be done by an ultrasound technician with more muskoskeletal experience.
Also, if needed, based on your injury your PT group may offer speech therapy or other specific kinds of needs—but this may be out of the general PT scope and may lead you to need other kinds of therapy specialists. Most of the time, the typical PT therapy involved some sort of issue with your legs, arms, and sometimes head, neck and shoulder injuries.
PT is designed to help you:
- Regain motion and movement in a limb, back, neck and more
- Regain and re-train strength and abilities in injured body part or organ
- Regain the ability to walk, run etc. — like you did before and use assistance (crutches / cane / walker / wheelchair)
- Hopefully avoid surgery (not all the time)
Everything depends on the injury sustained and how severe it is and if you would benefit from assistance at a PT clinic. Even if you don’t believe you need the help, for work and medical documentation it is best to listen to your doctor or specialist because sometimes even the smallest of injuries could require surgery.
Is PT all you will need for a workplace injury?
You may need surgery. Many times therapy is the only intervention you may need for your injury, if fairly minor. If you do need surgery, you will be a PT routine after the surgery. Essentially, you need help to fully re-learn how to use your limb or other issues that has been corrected by the surgery. There are some kinds of back injuries over time that develop, that PT is better than having surgery like, lower back issues from lower spinal stenosis.
Remember, always to report the injury you sustained at the workplace or job site immediately, if possible. Always get medical help, so you can be properly evaluated and keep all medical records.
Remember–Everett Spine & Rehab also offers expert physical therapy services.