Anyone that has sustained a musculoskeletal injury as a result of a work-related accident can attest to the fact that these injuries are disruptive to normal daily activities and routines. Pain, discomfort, restricted movement and functional limitations are all symptoms or effects of a traumatic type injury. Generally, patients believe that medication or traditional type medical recommendations are the answer. The reality is that a more practical, function-based, patient-centered approach is often a healthier and more effective way to care for post traumatic work injuries. While it is not abnormal for a patient to utilize medication to supplement conservative type care, it is important to avoid pain medications that may become addictive. The key to making a full recovery from injury is not to rely on medications but to restore the body to its normal and optimal functional capacity.
There are many modalities and methods available to conservatively treat a work injury. Here are some of the most commonly used methods in the chiropractic.
- Ice: One of the most common treatments for an acute work injury. Ice plays an important role in controlling inflammation and swelling as well as decreasing pain and muscular spasms.
- Heat: The use of moist or infrared heat is often used following the inflammatory stage of healing. Heat promotes blood flow to an area so healing can progress. It also helps loosen tissues which are tight as a result of a work injury
- Electric Stimulation: There are multiple forms of electrical stimulation. It is an effective way to help control pain and swelling and can help in the prevention of muscle atrophy. It works on the nerves that generate pain and therefore can be an excellent pain control mechanism in the early stages of injury healing
- Stretching Exercise: There are many techniques and methods of stretching – all of which serve to return a muscle to its optimal length to help regain flexibility. When our body is recovering from injury whether a muscle, ligament or disc, it is important that we create an environment conducive to healing. Stretching helps return a muscle to its proper length and removes pressure applied to our joints and discs
- Therapeutic Exercise: Strengthening or stabilization exercises are of the utmost importance when recovering from a work injury. As we decrease inflammation and increase flexibility, we need to strengthen the injured region. Regaining our strength and stabilization allows us to function properly and often is the key to the most positive patient outcome
- Chiropractic Manipulation: When we injure our bodies we typically experience some sort of joint dysfunction. Manipulation is a technique used by a trained professional to create movement and restore function within the joint. Properly moving and functioning joints create an atmosphere in which our bodies can heal
The above are just some of the conservative treatments available for work injury care. Before starting any type of treatment, it is important to consult with and be evaluated by a medical professional. A proper diagnosis and safe and personalized treatment plan for your condition is essential to obtaining the best outcomes after you suffer a work injury.