Workers’ Comp Injuries

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Workers’ Comp Injuries 2017-05-05T12:30:14+00:00

Experienced physical therapy that gets you back on the job.

If you’ve suffered a work injury, you can count on our team of highly trained physical therapists to get you back on the job as quickly as possible. We offer a variety of specialized programs designed to rehabilitate your injury, assess your optimal level of performance when you return to work and help you avoid injury in the future. In addition, we provide complete pre- and postsurgical rehabilitation and treat all types of pain and injury, including:

  • Back & neck pain
  • Repetitive-use problems like carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Knee, shoulder, hip & other joint pain
  • Foot & ankle conditions
  • Hand injuries

Feel better, faster with individualized treatments.

Our licensed physical therapists provide one-on-one attention to help you make real progress at every visit. We use a range of proven, time-tested techniques along with the most advanced manual physical therapy, including soft-tissue mobilization, myofascial release and more. And Denton Sports & Physical Therapy Center is the only practice in the area to offer an aquatic therapy program. During aquatic therapy, the buoyancy of warm water allows patients to relax and perform therapeutic exercises that may be difficult or painful on land. We offer other specialized techniques including:

Fluidotherapy – Helps relieve pain, improve range of motion, encourage healing and decrease swelling

Phonophoresis – Enhances the absorption of topically applied analgesics and anti-inflammatory agents

Iontophoresis – Delivers medicine through the skin – an injection without the needle

LIDO testing & strengthening – Assesses motor function

Specialized programs for a faster & safer return to work.

Our work conditioning programs are designed to strengthen, condition and educate injured workers with the goal of returning them to work ready for the physical demands of their job. Our functional capacity evaluations (FCE) assess the employee’s optimal return-to-work placement or the level of enrollment in the work conditioning program. FCEs evaluate flexibility, strength and endurance based on the employee’s current abilities and expected job performance.

Work Conditioning

Work Conditioning is a program individually designed by our team of physical therapy professionals. This comprehensive program consists of stretching, strengthening, conditioning, motivating and educating injured workers with the goal of returning them to work at the end of the daily two- to eight-week program.

  • Workers appropriate for referral are those who have been injured on the job and whose current level of functioning interferes with their ability to carry out essential job functions in the workplace. They must be medically and psychologically stable and have received maximum benefit from acute care rehabilitation prior to entry into this program. Participants must have a job to which they may return or a goal of returning to gainful employment.
  • Individuals referred to Work Conditioning are given an FCE to identify as accurately as possible current functional limitations and abilities and to identify their potential for return to work. Individuals referred to Work Conditioning are typically scheduled for an FCE within four days of referral/approval with Work Conditioning, typically starting Work Conditioning the day after testing.
  • It is a daily treatment program. The worker is scheduled for four hours per day during the first week and six hours per day during the second week, seven hours per day the third week and eight hours per day during the fourth and, typically, final week.
  • Work Conditioning is supervised by a physical therapist at all times. Individuals in the Work Conditioning program meet with their treatment team weekly to assess progress and plan the upcoming week of treatment. Case managers are welcome to attend the weekly progress meetings or at other times by appointment.
  • Work Conditioning provides a transition between management of the initial injury and return to work while addressing the issues of productivity, safety, physical tolerances and work behaviors. Work Conditioning programs are real or simulated work activities in a relevant work environment in conjunction with physical conditioning tasks. These activities are used to progressively improve the biomechanical, neuromuscular, cardiovascular/metabolic, behavioral, attitudinal and vocational functioning of the persons served.
  • It is an aggressive results-oriented treatment program with the primary goal of returning people to work. Individuals are discharged as soon as they demonstrate the skills to return to work, when they do not progress or when they do not comply with program attendance guidelines, which is signed when they enter the program.
  • A modified FCE is performed at the conclusion of the Work Conditioning program.

Functional Capacity Evaluations

FCEs are comprehensive tests of flexibility, strength, endurance and aerobic conditioning to use for proper returning-to-work placement or to decide the level of enrollment in Work Co nditioning.

A complete FCE is performed on all patients entering the Work Conditioning program and requires three to five hours of time. An abbreviated test (two hours or less) is performed on all patients completing the Work Conditioning program.

FCEs are also ordered on any patient if there is a question regarding his/her safe return to work. A detailed job description is very important in an FCE.

FCEs contain the following three elements:

1. A physical evaluation of the injured area, including quantitative measurements of the range of motion in the injured joint(s) or region(s), and measurements of strength and endurance with comparison to the patient’s opposite joint or region or to a normal data base.

2. Functional abilities tests which include: a) standardized tests of generic functional tasks such as lifting, pushing, pulling, squatting, carrying and climbing; b) hand function tests, which measure fine and gross motor coordination, grip strength, pinch strength and manipulation; c) submaximal cardiovascular endurance tests, which measure aerobic capacity; and d) static positional tolerance.

3. A brief physical examination and a brief neurological evaluation.

Injury Prevention

Injury prevention is patient education with hands-on demonstrations, video presentations and literature teaching how to avoid injuries.

Preventing injuries is an effective way for a business to dramatically reduce direct and indirect costs associated with work-related injuries.

Injury Prevention programs are taught by our physical therapists with advanced training in ergonomics and biomechanics. The classes may include educational components related to back injuries or cumulative trauma.

Classes are available at DS&PTC or at the work site. Educational components can be tailored to specific job classes if a job-site assessment is performed by a licensed therapist prior to the educational program.

Post-Offer Screenings

An individualized test developed to assess a job applicant’s capacity to perform essential job functions of strength, endurance and agility.

It will objectively identify those who are able or unable to do a job by testing essential job functions. These tests may include whole-body strength, cardiovascular endurance, posture tolerance and/or performance of specific tasks. Testing may also be used for return to work after an injury or when transferring to a different job within a company.

Screening is performed by a licensed physical therapist. Tests can usually be completed in 30 to 45 minutes and are scored on a pass/fail basis. Test results will be provided to the employer within 24 hours. When feasible, the therapist will recommend possible work accommodations to comply with the ADA.

A health questionnaire is used as part of the process to screen out those who are medically unsafe for testing. Based on this questionnaire, an individual could be determined to be at risk and a physician’s clearance would be required before testing.

Post-Offer Screenings help reduce work-related injuries and related costs while assisting employers in complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Legally, screening can only be done after a conditional offer of employment is made.

Job Site Assessments

A Job-Site Assessment is an onsite evaluation of essential job functions with recommendations for modifications to reduce potential injuries in the work place. The steps are as follows:

  • Once the client and the physical therapist determine which specific job titles need physical ability testing, the therapist will go onsite to collect data. Typically, those jobs with the most injuries reported are analyzed first.
  • Appropriate jobs to analyze may include “routine/frequent” measurable strength requirements, with “routine” referring to the job tasks remaining essentially the same throughout the year and”frequent” referring to the strength requirements occurring daily or hourly. It may be applicable to analyze a sustained endurance demand requiring frequent whole-body movement under load throughout the day or an identifiable agility or posture requirement.
  • If strength testing seems appropriate, specialized equipment will be taken to the work site to test individual workers. In some instances, tests of posture tolerance and agility are evaluated, as well. If endurance testing seems appropriate, heart rate monitoring of workers will also be conducted.
  • As a result of the onsite evaluation, there may be simple modifications that can be discussed with management that would reduce the physical job requirements or accommodate physically challenged workers. Such discussion would prevent management from setting unreasonable job requirements that would not stand the challenge of litigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • The evaluating therapist will review all tasks for a specific job class and determine if there are any tasks that do not fit the ADA definition of “essential.” The therapist will then determine the easiest and safest way to accomplish the tasks and recommend changes as necessary.
  • Some recommended changes to the methods observed could include job rotation; mechanization; reduced walking, carrying and stair climbing; or hiring additional workers to reduce overtime and decrease on-the-job injuries.
  • The data collected focus on the basic physical demands of the tasks associated with each job, not the skills required to perform those tasks. A Job-Site Assessment is essential in developing valid Post-Offer Screenings.

If you’ve been injured on the job, talk with your doctor about visiting Denton Sports & Physical Therapy Center or call us today at 940-566-5714 for more information. You can use our Request an Appointment form if you wish to contact us online.

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