Were you recently involved in a work-related accident? Did you sustain serious injuries? Maybe you were involved in a incident many years ago and are plagued by chronic pain or mobility issues. Perhaps a seemingly minor job-related dust-up ended up resulting in life-altering disability and changing the course of your life forever. If so, here are some suggestions and advice that you may find helpful.
Surgery Is Not Always the Answer
While some injuries require surgical intervention to repair or limit the damage incurred via a workplace accident, it is not always necessary or recommended. Often, minimally -invasive treatment options like injections, nerve blocks, ablation and microstimulator implants can be much more effective and therapeutic for the patient to restore function.
Consider Your Treatment Course Carefully
Injured workers should explore their therapy options with their physicians and see what may be best for them. This is a crucial aspect for most patients, as this is a very individualized experience. Different people will respond to certain treatments better than others, and it is often a trial-and-error merry-go-round to discover which methods will suit your needs. In many cases, it may require a combination of therapies to get an injured worker back on track.
How to Decide on a Course of Treatment
This question usually revolves around what type of injury one has suffered. With most work-related injuries, workers compensation program will play a key role in helping you by covering your treatment options. All 50 states require employers to contribute to the worker’s compensation fund and each territory has its own laws that guide the program. Moreover, most employees automatically contribute to this fund via their payroll taxes. Treatment often comes down to the type and extent of your injuries. If you are beyond that period, a private insurance, insurance through your employer (i.e. Blue Cross, Nationwide, etc.) or medical care through (e.g. Medicaid or Medicare), should cover your treatment.
What Works Best
This debate has been raging for decades and continues today, especially as science, medicine, technology, and free-thinking innovators develop new solutions to age-old problems. Most injured workers will usually undergo some form of physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), or other forms of rehabilitation. This is the traditional route for most injury patients and, in some cases, this path will be sufficient for recovery and return to work. However, this is not always the case. While some patients might respond well to a traditional course, many others need to explore more advanced methods. These could include other minimally invasive procedures described above. Many of these therapies may be beneficial if the injuries are long-term and resulting in chronic pain. The bottom line is, most effective treatment regimens involve a combination of methods that help get an injured worker back on their feet.
At the end of the day, chronic pain is unpredictable and can be difficult to manage. However, there is hope and there are a variety of treatment options that could benefit an injured worker in restoring their function and quality of life. Ultimately, while a return to “normal” and work may not always be in the cards, these therapies can also help you achieve a maximum possible functional level . An evaluation and management in the early course of the process offers the best hope for recovery.
At Pain & Spine Center of Charlottesville we specialize in a multitude of interventional and other options for a variety of chronic pain conditions including those related to workplace injuries.