Worker Compensation ChiropractorTampa, FL
Accidents involving forklifts, equipment malfunctions, slips, falls, and other workplace injuries occur daily throughout the country. They often cause neck and back-related pain. Visiting a chiropractor can be an effective way for workers to recover from their workplace injuries.
Our goal at Body XI is to help you get back to work and life as soon as possible. You may be entitled to chiropractic treatment if you receive workers' compensation. If you need treatment, call our office at (813) 518-0566 to get started today.
Workplace Injuries and Workers’ Compensation
Workplace accidents happen every day. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.7 million workers are non-fatally injured or fall ill at their workplace every year in the U.S. Most injuries result from overexertion, slips, trips, falls, and contact with objects and equipment. These injuries cause workers to miss work days and seek medical attention.
Fortunately, the U.S. has an agency through the Department of Labor that administers four major programs to provide injured workers with wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and other benefits. The Office of Workers’ Compensation Program (OWCP) operates differently in each state to process claims and determine if the program will reimburse for cash benefits or medical care. When an injured worker makes a claim, the employer or insurance carrier agrees that the worker’s injury was directly work-related.
If the claim is disputed, no reimbursement or cash benefits will be awarded until a judge hears the claim and determines who is correct. While waiting for the judge’s decision, the worker may be eligible for Disability Program benefits. However, these will later be subtracted from the worker’s compensation awards.
What Does a Chiropractor Do?
Chiropractors are medical professionals who specialize in treating the neuromusculoskeletal system. This system involves the bones, nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments and is often affected by workplace accidents. Chiropractic care focuses on the body’s natural ability to heal itself. In addition to spinal and joint adjustments, chiropractors may also suggest nutritional and exercise changes to prevent future injuries and pain from occurring.
A chiropractor uses several different types of equipment and techniques to help relieve pain and discomfort. For example, if a worker misaligns their spine from lifting a box at work, the chiropractor can use spinal manipulation to realign the spine and restore proper body support. A spinal injury can compromise muscle movements and ligaments, causing pain and preventing them from supporting and moving the rest of the body.
For workers’ compensation, chiropractic care is covered through a medical doctor’s referral or prescription when medically necessary for the worker’s recovery. The chiropractor will send the history of office visits and treatment documents to the OWCP to bill for the services. This means that most workers’ compensation patients are not required to pay out of pocket for chiropractic treatment. While the treatments are usually limited to 24 treatments, the patient may be able to receive more if their primary care physician and chiropractor agree that it is medically necessary.
Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor After a Work Injury
When a workplace injury occurs, the worker must seek immediate care from a medical professional. In addition to protecting them from further injury, this ensures they are compensated and not financially liable for treatment. During their recovery period, a chiropractor is more likely to be able to ease a patient’s discomfort when combined with traditional medical care. As well as treating neck and back pain, they can also treat arm and shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and migraines.This is possible by identifying potential issues and injuries that can lead to further discomfort or pain.
Chiropractic care techniques are also more natural and non-invasive than other treatment options, such as surgical and medication options. They are non-addictive and have minimal side effects. When specifically compared to surgery, chiropractic treatment requires less recovery time and does not have risks of infection.
Types of Chiropractic Treatment
Most often, people think of chiropractors adjusting the spine and joints, but they also employ other techniques or a combination of several treatments to help manage a patient’s care. Non-spinal adjustment treatments aim to improve the performance of the neuromusculoskeletal system, help joints function, depress nerves, and promote fast healing with less discomfort. The technique and treatment type are determined by the patient’s condition and the type of injury they have. Some of these treatments are:
- Ice and Heat Therapy: Ice therapy is used to reduce inflammation and control pain that often occurs immediately after an injury. Heat therapy helps relax injured muscles and increases blood circulation to the problem area. Depending on the patient’s injury, a chiropractor may recommend a combination of both therapies for more effective results.
- Muscle Stimulation: Muscle stimulation is used to reduce inflammation, spasms, or pain relief. Electrodes are placed on the patient’s skin to deliver light electrical pulses to specific areas of the body.
- Nutritional Counseling: Poor diet can contribute to several different illnesses that may affect the body’s ability to heal from a workplace injury.
- Soft Tissue Manual Therapy: After an injury, soft tissues are affected and may lack proper function. In soft tissue manual therapy, chiropractors use different hands-on methods to improve function and circulation in the soft tissues.
- Therapeutic Exercise and Stretches: A chiropractor will often assign their patients exercises and stretches to do in and out of the office to strengthen their muscles, increase tissue flexibility, and prevent scar tissue.
- Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (TENS): TENS is a small and portable muscle stimulation machine. They are battery-powered and can act as an at-home remedy to alleviate and control severe pain, excluding patients who struggle with chronic pain.
- Ultrasound Therapy: Ultrasound therapy uses sound waves generated by a microphone-shaped device known as a transducer to deep heat tissues and joints. It helps reduce swelling, relax muscle spasms, and increase blood flow.
Chiropractic care for work injuries addresses the root cause of the pain rather than focusing on treating the symptoms of the initial injury. Spinal manipulation can help reduce inflammation and swelling, improving the range of motion in injured joints. A chiropractor may use a combination of spinal manipulation and the therapies mentioned above to return the injured worker to their job and healthier, pain-free life.
The First Appointment and Aftercare
Once workers’ compensation is approved and the worker receives initial medical treatment from their primary care doctor, they can then be referred to a workers’ compensation eligible chiropractor. The chiropractor will design a treatment plan based on the patient’s condition, recovery and wellness goals, and an initial examination and X-rays. Our team at Body XI will work with the patient, the patient’s doctor, and the OWCP to ensure that the patient’s medical history, treatment plan, and office visits are well documented to submit them for the insurance claim.
After a chiropractic session, an injured worker may feel minor side effects, such as feeling sore or exhausted, having tingling sensations in the treated area, or developing a headache. They should drink a lot of water and rest to flush out toxins that may have been released from their muscles and joints during the treatment session. Once they have rested, the patient should try some exercises and stretches their chiropractor may have given them to prevent scar tissue from forming around the injured area and further injury.
Call Our Office Today
Work injuries are not only painful but can also be stressful. Patients should get the care and benefits they deserve to recover and return to their everyday lives. Our team has the necessary training and skills to customize a treatment plan for the patient’s needs.. Call our office today at (813) 518-0566 to learn more or schedule a consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What injuries are considered work-related?
Any injury that occurs at the workplace is considered a work injury, and the worker can be considered for workers’ compensation. Work injuries are common and require immediate attention to prevent further injury from slips and falls to broken bones. If a worker can prove that their injury is work-related, the worker can receive treatment for no cost.
How does a chiropractor alleviate my pain and discomfort after a work injury?
The main goal of chiropractic care is to alleviate pain and discomfort by focusing on the source of the pain. Through medical history and exam results, chiropractors can find this source and other factors that may adversely affect the patient. Our team will find ways to achieve long-term care and relief through an initial exam, outlying treatment and wellness goals, and educating patients on caring for themselves outside of the chiropractic office.
What kinds of treatment can I receive from a workers’ compensation chiropractor?
A chiropractor uses gentle spinal and joint manipulation to restore the body to its proper alignment. The specific types of treatment will depend on the severity and location of the injury. For example, if the worker has back pain, the chiropractor will provide treatment targeting the spine.
How many treatment sessions do workers' compensation cover?
It depends on state workers’ compensation laws. Our practice is in Tampa, Florida, so we can provide 24 treatments or 12 weeks of sessions, whichever comes first. Chiropractic treatments are limited because it usually requires continuous treatment for long-lasting relief and recovery. Insurance providers put caps on treatment to prevent those benefiting from workers’ compensation from getting more treatment than necessary.
Do I need a workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure I don’t get charged for treatment?
While Body XI cannot offer legal assistance, we can ensure that your documents are securely and directly sent to the Office of Workers Compensation (OWCP). A workers' compensation patient's visit documentation and a prescription from a primary care physician are used to bill for the services; this usually results in little financial responsibility for the patient. In case the claim is denied by insurance, it may be wise to consult an attorney outside of our jurisdiction.
I need additional treatment after workers’ compensation general coverage ends. What do I do?
Although most providers believe 24 sessions or 12 weeks of chiropractic treatment is adequate, an injured worker can request an increase when medically necessary. The insurance company can authorize it if the worker’s injury is serious or catastrophic. Be sure to communicate an updated treatment schedule from the chiropractor to the insurance company so that they are always aware of the care the worker receives. The more information a patient provides about the treatment frequency and progress, the less likely the claim can be denied or disputed.
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