Return to Work

“The body can’t do the work”

Some people can no longer work at full capacity. We guide proper job accommodations to make an early return to work possible, either to resolve a Workers’ Compensation Claim, make changes to minimize the risks for return to work from surgery or injury, or to solve the early cause of cumulative trauma without a day lost. A physical therapist that understands the healing process can make choices based on how the body works best. When the right elements are in place, people recover more quickly.

Naturally, the best-case scenario is to resolve the cause of symptoms long before they get problematic, and to keep people working. Unfortunately, many cases of cumulative trauma end up as Workers’ Compensation Claims. Then a doctor and a Claims Representative become involved with decisions about conditions at work, possibly ask for work restrictions, or determine if the employee can return to work at all. A consultant familiar with the Physical Therapy treatment for these problems is extremely valuable to make reasonable choices for ergonomic recommendations, document appropriate recommendations in a way that can be approved and installed, and can also review the individual care plan and treatment goals in terms of work requirements. The right choices for work and recovery make the medical problem a temporary one, and we expect the healing process to restore full productivity.

We know the Workers’ Compensation Claims process can be tedious, and work productivity usually suffers. Timely and proper reporting to the pertinent people and the use of simple and reasonable solutions will speed the process dramatically. Approval from the Supervisor, the Claims Representative and the Physician may be required for the recommendations. Approved vendors and products may be needed. Competent installation may be necessary at the work location, and a follow-up visit and report is usually advised to document that everything is working properly. Further delays are likely if the products do not work as imagined, creating either a new problem that needs resolution, or a different problem and solution are needed, losing even more time and productivity.

Experience from thousands of claims tells us that the beginning of the injury is the most critical stage! The cause and effect of cumulative trauma on the body is dependent on the stage of injury. The spectrum can range from the early stage with intermittent symptoms, to the end-stage, and total disability. It is much easier to solve the problem early, rather than to neglect proper care. We know what to do when people have work restrictions and claims, and we can accommodate them. We also know how to prevent the problem in the first place.

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