Despite increased attention to workplace safety in the past 25 years, the International Labour Organization reports approximately 360 million non-fatal work-related injuries annually across the globe. Employees who report injuries must follow various protocols to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits that cover living and medical expenses, including treatment from a workers’ comp chiropractor.
Chiropractic care can dramatically improve outcomes for individuals who sustain musculoskeletal injuries, which account for a significant number of lost workdays annually. These are among the common conditions addressed when injured workers seek treatment from a chiropractor.
Back injuries account for about 20% of work-related injuries every year. Accident chiropractors may treat back injuries due to various workplace events and circumstances, including:
- Heavy lifting
- Poor posture
- Maintaining the same position throughout the day
- Awkward movements
- Auto accident
Although chiropractors will initially work to alleviate the debilitating pain of a back injury, addressing its root cause is essential for promoting recovery and preventing future injuries. For example, many falls and blunt force injuries can cause spinal vertebrae to dislocate and press on surrounding nerves. The resulting compression can lead to intense or chronic pain. Therefore, a chiropractor may use manual therapy techniques to realign displaced vertebrae.
When work-related tasks, slips, falls, or excessive sitting lead to back sprains or strains, a chiropractor may apply various stress-relieving techniques to increase flexibility, expand range-of-motion, and alleviate pain. Chiropractic treatment may focus on relaxing the muscles using heat to loosen them before gently massaging the affected area. Topical ultrasound devices send heat and vibrations through the skin to reach the afflicted muscles for tension and pain relief.
Repetitive Motion Arm, Shoulder, and Hand Injuries
Chiropractors handle repetitive motion injuries affecting the upper body regularly. In past decades repetitive motion injuries were primarily attributable to the work performed by meatpackers, house painters, tailors, and construction and assembly line workers. Today, the incidence of repetitive motion injuries is rising, affecting as many as 1.8 million office workers as heavy computer use leads to afflictions like carpal tunnel syndrome, which can cause arm, hand, and finger numbness, pain, tingling, and weakness.
Treating a repetitive motion injury may involve strategies that resemble those a workers’ comp chiropractor uses to treat other types of work-related injuries. It starts by addressing pain and discomfort before focusing on preventative measures as part of a three-part treatment plan that does the following.
- Breaks apart scar tissue: Injury doctors will typically apply active release or Graston techniques to break apart scar tissue that forms due to repetitive movements and leads to painful impingement and inflammation.
- Reduces stiffness and increases range of motion: Chiropractors use passive therapies to move afflicted body parts and guide patients through active movements that gradually restore flexibility and range of motion.
- Demonstrates better habits: Chiropractors play a vital role in teaching injured workers how to move their bodies while performing job-related tasks to ensure they do not re-injure themselves. In addition, they equip injured workers with exercises and proper techniques that pertain to their specific roles at work.
Head and Neck Injuries
Accident chiropractors may treat head and neck injuries due to numerous job-related circumstances involving whiplash, blunt-force trauma, and the operation of machines that produce vibrations.
These injuries can lead to misalignments of the spine leading to neck pain, and may benefit from specific chiropractic treatments, such as:
- Spinal manipulation. A chiropractor may apply quick manual thrusts to the neck joint toward the direction of its restriction.
- Flexion-distraction. Trauma to the head or neck can cause cervical disc herniations that chiropractors can treat with gentle manual manipulation that coaxes fragile vertebrae in the spinal column back into alignment.
- Muscle stimulation and relaxation. Chiropractic care treats whiplash injuries by gently stretching tense muscles and contracting restricted muscles.
- Electrical stimulation and ultrasound. A chiropractor may use specific tools to help treat workers’ head and neck injuries. For example, electrical muscle stimulators send low-frequency electrical currents to injured muscles to promote contraction that encourages healing blood flow. In addition, severe muscle tension benefits from ultrasound therapy that employs soothing heat.
- Trigger Point Therapy. A workers’ comp chiropractor can treat traumatic work-related or repetitive stress neck injuries that starve tissues of vital nutrients and encourage toxin accumulation leading to pain, weakness, tingling, and numbness. The chiropractor pinches affected muscle fibers with the fingers until knots disappear and pain subsides.
Knees consist of bones, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage and account for a significant percentage of workplace injuries, with strains and sprains causing about 46% of knee injuries. These complex joints are vulnerable to work-related trauma involving falls and poor ergonomics.
Chiropractors treat knee injuries using various modalities, including manual manipulation and physical therapy to restore proper alignment when trauma forces the kneecap to move to one side. Multiple injuries, including ligament sprains and muscle strains, are also treatable using massage and ultrasound therapy to encourage blood flow that supplies oxygen and nutrients to promote recovery, reduce inflammation, and ease the pain.
An accident injury chiropractor may also recommend therapeutic exercises and orthotic support to prevent re-injury of the vulnerable joint.
Slip-and-fall accidents can cause contusions, broken bones, and lacerations leading to nerve damage. Accident chiropractors can reduce pain from bones, vertebrae, and muscles impinging on surrounding nerves by performing spinal manipulations. Neck and back injuries may cause significant nerve damage that can create sensations throughout the body, including tingling, pain, itching, and feelings of tightness.
After an injury, workers who experience these symptoms may find relief by visiting chiropractors who treat injury-related nerve damage with vertebral realignments to decompress nerves and deep tissue massage to open the nervous system passageways and eliminate toxins.
The Benefits of Seeing a Workers’ Comp Chiropractor Soon After a Work-Related Injury
Workers who experience job-related accidents and injuries after slipping, falling, assault, product defects, a car accident, and other adverse circumstances may struggle to support themselves and pay their medical bills while they recover. A workers’ comp chiropractor may be an essential partner for an injured worker, contributing to a successful and speedy recovery process.
In addition to understanding how to relieve discomfort and prevent re-injury or future injury complications, chiropractors can work with insurers to help their patients get the benefits they need to protect their long-term interests.
Schedule an Appointment
After a work-related injury, the chiropractors at Metro Healthcare Partners can relieve your discomfort and help you begin your path to recovery using natural methods that rely on your body’s ability to heal itself. Our doctors accept workers’ compensation insurance, no-fault, and most insurance plans. Contact us today to discuss how we may help with your work-related injury and get you back to living your life.