Navigating the Road to Recovery After a Work Injury
When a person is injured at work, the most important thing is that person’s health. Getting treated and back to work are the ultimate goals for many injured workers, but sometimes, employers simply don’t follow the restrictions given by the treating doctors. “Once a patient is back to work, whether on light duty or fully duty, it is of upmost importance that if the employer does not honor the doctor’s restrictions, the patient communicates immediately back to their doctor,” says Jessica Farley, owner of Alivio Rehabilitation Clinic in San Antonio, Texas. It’s important to make sure to not let fear of losing your job dictate your recovery, she points out.
“Patients must remember that they continue to be under a doctors order, and doctors want to avoid an aggravation or an exacerbation of the injuries,” says Farley. There are times when a patient may return to work with permanent restrictions, but the goal of treating doctors is to get that employee back to work as close as possible to their pre-injury state. “The key is to always work with your doctor to meet return-to-work goals on an individual basis,” Farley states.
Work injuries are not just about the physical pain and discomfort associated with the event. Emotional pain and suffering must also be addressed. “Prolonged stress from an injury can aggravate or trigger many physical and emotional symptoms,” says Farley. Alivio has an in-house Behavior Team that allows patients cope with emotional stress, using the clinic’s cognitive-behavioral approach.
When it comes to recovering from a work injury, a lot of factors need to be considered. For an employee to get back to their pre-injury work capacity, they need to be physically better. Physical therapy and medicine and whatever treatments the doctor is providing need to be working. Also, the employee needs to be emotionally well.
Recovering from losing hours at work or even losing a job altogether because of an injury is difficult and can be emotionally taxing. Many injured workers suffer from mental anguish in the form of stress, sadness, anxiety, depression, and feelings of being overwhelmed.
Clinics, like Alivio, strive to help injured workers in getting back on their feet physically and emotionally with state-of-the-art treatment approaches.
“[Our] functional restoration program is a whole-body approach to treatment which involves physical and psychological rehabilitation,” says Farley. “It combines strengthening, conditioning, and often, a behavioral component that helps the patient deal with life-changing conditions.”
The ultimate goal of the Espinoza Law Firm, as well as specialized clinics such as Alivio, is to get the injured worker recovered and able to return to their highest quality of life.