Have you ever been injured at work? Over my 27-year chiropractic career, I have been injured several times due to continuous and repetitive movements. On the job injuries occur a lot more frequently than most of us realize. Low back pain alone accounts for 16% of all work-related injuries but claim 33% of all work comp costs. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reports: “In 2004, 25.9 million persons lost an average of 7.2 days of work due to back pain. The most common, non-life-threatening workplace injuries include: falls from heights to lower levels, repetitive motion injuries, slips, trips/falls, overexertion and lifting/lowering injuries, falling objects or debris and work-related vehicular accidents.
So, what are your choices and options? According to the Canadian government Magna Report commissioned study, “…injured workers diagnosed with low-back pain returned to work much sooner when treated by chiropractors than by physicians.” In a new study published in the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, workers who went to a chiropractor first for occupational back pain had a significantly shorter duration of compensation during the first five months as compared to those who sought a medical doctor first.
In this Australian study, 1,996 workers’ compensation cases were evaluated in patients who experienced work-related mechanical low back pain. It was found that those individuals who received chiropractic care for their back pain returned to work 4 times faster (6.26 days vs. 25.56 days) and had treatment that cost 4 times less ($392 vs. $1,569) than those who received treatments from medical doctors.
Over the many years of treating patients, I've seen that consistent chiropractic care and therapy do reduce the long-term effects of work-related injuries, severe muscle spasms which become restricted and painful causing compensation to different spinal and joint structures. Chiropractic care is not only for back pain from work injuries, but also helps with neck strain, sciatia, middle back, shoulder, wrist, hip and knee injuries. As we continue to live in a high technology computer dependent environment, the long-term muscle strain and poor posture mechanics cause upper back and neck complaints. Extended periods of sitting and limited exercise also increase back injuries with muscle weakness from lifting, bending and twisting.
As a Chiropractor, I found that not only with initial chiropractic care helps with decreasing pain, reducing flare-up injuries and return to work earlier but also allow you to be on less medication, need for surgery and restriction from work duties. A number of workers’ compensation studies show that chiropractic care to be excellent choice in the treatment of on the job back injuries. Please feel free to set up an appointment to go over your injury and consult on your work injury options.