Injured workers are a lot like injured athletes; only the playing field is different. And like an athlete’s injury, doctors typically prescribe physical therapy to treat a work injury. If you need physical therapy for a work injury, workman’s compensation should cover the costs of treatment. At the same time, there are some basic guidelines to get that treatment covered with a workman’s comp claim.
The Guidelines for Payment of a Work Injury Rehab Program
First of all, the physical therapy treatment needs to be ordered by your treating physician, and the insurance company must pre-approve. If you don’t get approval for work injury rehab, there are some steps you can take to get the treatment approved.
Ask the doctor’s office to file a Form WC-205 requesting approval
File a Form WC-PMT to get treatment approved
Request a hearing in front of a judge to get approval
Get a worker’s compensation attorney
Common Worker’s Compensation Injuries
Overexertion is the most common workplace injury. It’s most often seen in construction jobs and warehouse jobs. Typically, a muscle is pulled or a joint is forced beyond its anatomical ability. Slip and falls are also very common in the workplace. Groundskeepers, store clerks, and security workers often fall prey to this due to wet floors or snowy sidewalks. A bodily reaction to a fall or slip can result in a sprained or broken ankle. It’s not uncommon for retail workers or factory workers to be struck by an object when it falls off a shelf. Office workers and factory workers can incur an injury when struck against an object. The person falls into a stationary object. For truck drivers, highway accidents are one of the top causes of injury. It’s also common among police officers and business representatives.
In businesses with heavy machinery, machinery accidents are common. This is seen with construction workers and in warehouses. Repetitive motion injuries are also in the top ten most common worker’s compensation claims. Lifting boxes, working on an assembly line, sitting at a computer and even using a mouse can cause a repetitive motion injury like bursitis, tendonitis and carpal tunnel.
Of course, there are other types of workplace injuries. The key is to report the injury to your employer as soon as possible and to get medical treatment as soon as possible. These two steps will help ensure a successful worker’s compensation claim.
Physical Therapy and Workplace Injuries
People who have been injured on the job have a unique set of circumstances. Often, returning to work is a necessity for the person’s wellbeing. A physical therapist will produce a treatment plan that is specifically targeted for your circumstances and injury. Goals are set up, and your physical therapist will help you accomplish these goals. Your physical therapist is your coach and partner in returning to work. Treatment may include manual therapy, stretching, specific exercises, hot and cold treatment, ultrasound, aquatic therapy and joint mobilization. Physical therapy is a holistic treatment that often combines multiple modalities for recovery.