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Can Physical Therapy Help After a Work-Related Injury?

Over 139,000 work-related injuries were reported in New York in 2017. Workers’ comp injuries come in all shapes and sizes.  They can range from minor to severe.  They can affect various parts of the body from the head to the toe, and they do not discriminate between the young nor the old.  That being said, work-related injuries do happen and require prompt, appropriate treatment.  Physical therapy is often needed as part of this treatment and will help in the recovery process.

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapy, also referred to as PT is a branch of rehabilitative medicine that uses special exercises and equipment to help regain or improve physical function. Physical Therapy is a program designed to help the immediate injury and long term recovery after an injury. A workers’ comp physical therapist is a licensed expert trained to help people improve their movement and manage pain. 

Physical therapists are very knowledgeable and able to tailor a treatment plan to improve the individual’s health and get them back to work safely as soon as possible.

What Can I Expect Out of Physical Therapy?

Upon starting physical therapy, you will undergo a physical exam.  During this exam, your posture, movement, and flexibility will be evaluated.  Muscle and joint movement and performance will be assessed.  A health history will also be obtained.  Once the exam process is completed you will be provided with a diagnosis, prognosis, treatment plan and therapy goals will be set. 

Once a therapy plan is made, you will receive treatments and interventions based on your previous evaluation and diagnosis.  You will also receive self-management recommendations to further your recovery when therapy is completed.  These recommendations will help you to work on your recovery on your own and prevent future injury.

What type of Injuries Can Physical Therapy Treat?

Physical therapy can treat a variety of work-related injuries.  They treat musculoskeletal conditions such as back injury, neck pain, and rotator cuff tears.  They treat neurological conditions such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Conditions of the extremities (arms, hands, legs, and feet) such as carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, sprains, and dislocations to name a few, are treated. Almost all workers’ comp injuries can benefit from some form of physical therapy rehabilitation. 

What Types of Therapy can I Expect?

The specific types of therapy you receive will depend on the type of injury and what your initial physical examination and diagnosis require.  There is a wide range of therapies that treat a variety of conditions.  We will list a few that are utilized in various work-related injuries. 

Orthopedic physical therapy involves procedures that treat musculoskeletal injuries.  These injuries involve muscles, bones, and tendons. The procedures focus on mobility and strength training. 

Neurological physical therapy involves a procedure that treats neurological conditions such as the brain and spinal cord injuries. The procedures focus on treating paralysis and muscle strength exercises. 

Wound care therapy involves improving circulation. The procedure focus on improving the blood circulation to the various affected body parts to promote healing.  These procedures consist of compression therapy and electric stimulation. 

Other general therapies often used are heat therapy, cold therapy, ultrasound, light therapy, and phonophoresis(medication delivered by ultrasound), to name a few.

What Benefits Does Physical Therapy Provide?

Physical therapy can be extremely beneficial for work-related injuries.  Physical therapy can help with pain, which will reduce the need for opioids.  Surgery can sometimes be avoided by the use of physical therapy.

Your mobility, movement, and flexibility can be improved.  Physical therapy can speed up the recovery process and help get you back into working ability.

If you were injured at work, you need to see an experienced Brooklyn physical therapist who accepts workers’ compensation insurance, call 718-769-2521 today and get help now.

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