Injury Rehab: How to Recover After a Work-Related Injury

Work-related injuries happen all the time. But this doesn’t mean you have to be a victim, or suffer from long-term pain or health complications if you are.

If you’re injured on the job, it’s your employer’s responsibility to see that you’re rightfully compensated and receive the injury rehab you deserve. However, you want to ensure that you know how to advocate for yourself and receive the recovery rehabilitation that you deserve, too.

Learn more about common work-related injuries, what your employer’s role is in helping you recover, and your own role in the rehabilitation process.

Common Work-Related Injuries

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that some of the most common injuries that occur in the workplace include cuts, lacerations, slips, falls, sprains, strains, fractures, and tears. Along with this, repetitive strain injury, shoulder injury, and carpal tunnel are also common.

However, the most common workplace injury among them all is actually lower back pain. In fact, it’s the most prevalent workplace related injury across the globe. And the culprit often includes repetitive strain motion, including heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, and desk work.

The Role of Your Employer in Injury Rehab

As mentioned earlier, your employer plays a key role in your rehabilitation after an injury in the workplace. It’s actually their responsibility to ensure you receive the right care for however long you need.

Many workplaces offer approved access to rehabilitation providers who can address issues related to physical, functional, emotional, and psychological injury.

It’s mandatory that your employer provide you with the right type of work that suits your work capacity and recovery, post-injury. They should discuss your work expectations with you, their insurer, and your medical practitioner. Most large companies offer a coordinator to facilitate this process.

Remember, it’s illegal for your employer to dismiss you because of a work-related injury. It’s also illegal for them to offer you an incentive instead of filing a valid worker’s compensation claim.

Your Role in Injury Rehabilitation

Your role is to focus on your own recovery as much as possible. This will allow you to recover quicker and return to work as soon as possible.

It’s also important to seek the right medical professionals who can assist you with the best chance of a full recovery. Whether you follow recommendations from your employer or seek these professionals on your own.

These support services play a huge role in your recovery and increasing your work capacity over time.

Building the Right Medical Team

Depending on the type and extent of your injury, you’ll need to have the right medical professionals on your side. In many cases, occupational injuries require ongoing treatment for the best possible recovery.

Some key professionals that might fall into your medical team include:

  • A physiotherapist
  • An occupational therapist
  • A chiropractor
  • A pain management expert
  • A massage therapist

Whether you require the expertise of one or more of these professionals, you should have a recovery plan to follow. This recovery plan should cover your re-entry to work and focus on managing your rehabilitation through building strength and mobility.

All-in-all, you want this recovery plan to help you feel stronger, safer, confident, and prepared to return to the workplace.

Maximizing Your Rehab Sessions

Ideally, you want to squeeze everything you can out of your rehabilitation appointments. This is important for a full recovery and especially if your medical team is not familiar with your job role.

So, it’s up to you to help them understand by:

  • Supplying a thorough description of what you do daily during work hours
  • Going over the specifics of your job, the requirements, and what you feel you can and cannot manage

If you’re unable to return to work for some time, your medical provider should advise on how to maintain your rehab independently. This way, you can work on your recovery on your own as well.

Supporting Your Recovery at Work

Once you’re cleared to return to work (in some capacity) it’s still important to maintain your recovery. You might be able to return to work and perform some of your previous tasks, but not all of them. Not rushing back to everything is an important part of your recovery plan.

You’ll need to work with your employer, their insurer, and your medical team to plan out the tasks you’re able to cover. Your first step is to:

Set Realistic Goals

If you plan to ”recover at work”, which is often the most preferable option, set realistic goals about what you can manage. Your physiotherapist or other medical professionals should play a big role in helping you set these goals.

You might have the intention of returning to the exact same position and duties you had prior to your injury. But sometimes, this might not be possible. You want to take into consideration your medical team’s estimation of your work capacity and adjust your role accordingly.

Adjust How and When You Work

It’s also the job of your employer to provide you with a suitable job match according to your work capacity. Your new role should support your rehabilitation in every way. Even if this means performing at the minimum in order to maximize your recovery.

For example, your employer could tweak your job role in the following manner:

  • Allow you to perform the same job, but with reduced or different working hours
  • Change your duties to suit your capabilities
  • Offer a different role completely
  • Offer you a training opportunity that supports your recovery, allowing you to learn a new role
  • A combination of all the above

When working with your employer and medical team to adjust your role, you want to keep the following top-of-mind:

  • The physical demands of the job
  • Your physical capabilities
  • The practicality of your duties and how they support your rehab
  • The cognitive demands of the job
  • Your cognitive ability
  • The overall work environment (Is it safe enough to support your recovery?)

Along with all the above, your employer should also consider risk management. It’s important to talk with them about how they plan to change or eliminate any potential risks in the workplace to support you and prevent further injury.

Find the Rehab Support You Need With Injury Care Center

Struggling with an occupational injury and need a medical team on your side to support your rehabilitation? Look no further than the Injury Care Center.

With state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, and staff, you’re guaranteed to make the full recovery you deserve. We offer many types of pain management techniques. Contact our team to begin your recovery today.