Physical Therapy Can Help You Get Back to Work
Have You Experienced a Work Related Injury? Physical Therapy Can Get You Back to Work.
Let’s face it, injuries happen in the workforce. A housekeeper using a vacuum all day, or fitting sheets on a bed. A mechanic working under cars all day. The engineer sitting at the computer all day. The professional athlete who is pushing themselves to their physical limits day after day. It all takes its toll and can break the body down and lead to injury. Possibly a minor problem that resolves quickly. However, at times a significant problem leading to a debilitating injury resulting in lost time at work and worst case, inability to return to work.
Taking unwanted time off work due to an injury causes financial distress, especially if one is unsure of how long the recovery period will be. If you have recently suffered from a work related injury that is limiting your physical abilities to do your job, be sure to get into a proper physical therapy rehabilitation or return to work treatment plan that will get you back to your normal routine as fast as possible.
You don’t have to worry anymore. Rose City Physical Therapy can help! Physical therapy plays a vital role in helping people recover from their work injuries.
Contact our office in Portland, OR to learn more about how physical therapy can soothe your or your employees pain, help you or them get back to work, and prevent future injuries while on the job.
What is a “Work Injury”?
A work injury is any injury or illness an employee receives while working on the job site or in a job related environment. Pretty much any occupation presents a potentially dangerous situation that can lead to a work related injury, including nursing, construction, road work, assembly line work or professional sports. Although not considered dangerous, even computer or office work can lead to work-related injuries from prolonged sitting or standing in the same position for prolonged periods of time. This can all take a toll on your body.
Those working in offices at a computer all day, or factories on the assembly line, are susceptible to repetitive motion or repetitive strain injuries. Especially if they perform jobs that require repetition or overuse of a specific part of their body.
If you happen to get hurt at work, it is important to seek physical therapy treatment as soon as possible, as almost any type of injury left untreated may become more severe over time and cause more problems than you’d like! Physical therapy is well versed in ergonomics, body mechanics and safe functional movements to teach and train you to return to work safely.
Common Work Injuries
There are multiple types of work injuries. Many are the result of repetitive stress or strain; others the result of a single incident trauma. Some of the most common include:
Tendinitis or Tendinopathy
Tendinopathy is a condition that develops through excessive repetitive overuse of a body part. The assembly line worked sorting garments and using a scanner all day long. The electrician working overhead stringing wires all day long.
The initial stage of tendon pain is referred to as tendinitis – “Itis” means inflammation – and in the early stages of a tendon injury there can be some inflammation in the tendon. However, not all tendon pain related problems are a true tendinitis. In fact, research concludes that with tendon injury, there is in fact little to no inflammation per se. Hence, we refer to tendon pain more commonly as tendinopathy – which means ‘pathology of the tendon’. Simply, something is wrong with the tendon.
Symptoms of tendinopathy include localized tenderness to palpation, intermittent or in a more severe case constant pain, and swelling; and when the tendon is loaded through a muscle contraction, the pain increases, i.e. you try to use the muscle related to the painful tendon and it hurts to do so. Tendinopathy in work related accidents we see most commonly occuring in the wrist or hand, in the shoulder at the rotator cuff, the elbow (“tennis elbow”), and at the knee (patella or quadricep tendon).
Managing tendon pain through an evidence based tendinopathy comprehensive physical therapy program such as what is offered at Rose City Physical Therapy is important for full recovery and return to work.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition that compresses a nerve at the palm side of the wrist – the median nerve. This typically happens due to fine task repetitive motions such as a mechanic performs when working on vehicles, or someone working on the computer all day and using the mouse non-stop, or assembly line work. According to Harvard Health, seeking treatment as early as possible is necessary for CTS in order to avoid long-term nerve damage.
Physical therapy to treat carpal tunnel syndrome includes education on proper wrist positioning and ergonomics at the workstation, possibly short-term use of a protective wrist splint to reduce strain across the wrist and unload the compressed median nerve, early gentle exercises for nerve glides to maintain its mobility through the carpal tunnel, stretches to improve flexibility, and exercises to strengthen the muscles in the hand and wrist as well as the shoulder girdle, and corrective exercise for posture.
Low Back Pain
Low back injury and pain is one of the most commonly experienced work related injuries and sources of pain, that can be caused by several work-related activities. Prolonged sitting at your desk all day can lead to back pain. Lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling can lead to injury; usually due to using improper body mechanics caused by rotating or twisting the back in an incorrect way, especially when you are lifting heavy items.
If you are experiencing low back pain, MoveForwardPT provides a nice article in support of early physical therapy as a cost-effective option. Also, research on receiving early physical therapy concludes early physical therapy results in a reduced need for addictive opioid pain medications, unnecessary imaging and fewer doctor visits. Give us a call and let one of our back pain specialists at Rose City Physical Therapy help you get back to full function and work.
Sprains and Strains
Sprains affect the ligaments in the body, which connect bone to bone. A sprain occurs when a ligament connecting one bone to another is stretched beyond its limits. Strains affect the muscle or tendon, the tendon connects a muscle to the bone. Although they sound the same, they are different injuries and require different care for optimal recovery.
Either of these injuries can occur from a single traumatic event, such as falling off a ladder or slipping and falling; or from repetitive motions. They can also occur as a result of improper use of equipment or faulty equipment or ergonomic set up.
Whatever the case may be, physical therapy at Rose City Physical Therapy can help you reduce or even eliminate the pain from an injured tendon or ligament.
Auto Accidents (Motor Vehicle Accidents)
If you work in a job that requires the use of a vehicle, there is always a risk of a motor vehicle accident injury. Work-related automobile accidents can result in minor injuries ranging from bruises, cuts, abrasions and sprains or strains, to broken bones, severe whiplash, and concussion.
Physical therapy at Rose City Physical Therapy can provide relief and recovery from an automobile accident by reducing pain and inflammation, and restoring your range of motion.
Let Us Treat Your Work Injuries at Rose City Physical Therapy
Our Portland, OR physical therapists are well versed in treating work related injuries using evidence based treatment methods aimed at relieving pain, restoring mobility, strength and function, and promoting overall healing. Our skilled and attentive physical therapists will educate you on your injury as well as proper body mechanics and ergonomics for a safe return to work and job performance; all with the goal to avoid further injury in the future.
Physical therapy is a safe and effective way to recover from work injuries. In many cases at our clinic, we’ve found what research has proven – that physical therapy treatment reduces and can eliminate the need for potentially harmful prescription drugs, unnecessary imaging, and possibly surgery. If you have received a painful work injury that isn’t healing on it’s own, and is preventing you from performing any or all of your job duties, request an appointment at Rose City Physical Therapy. We are centrally located in the Slabtown neighborhood in Portland, OR, between The Pearl District and Northwest Portland. We’ll work with your worker’s compensation caseworker to help you recover quickly and get you back to your normal work performance in no time!