By Dr. Jack Choate
Chiropractic physicians Dr. Shirley, Choate, and Glanville at the Spinal & Sports Care Clinic want you to know some very important things if you have been injured while on the job. First of all, should you need medical care for your injury you have the right to see a doctor of YOUR choosing. In Washington State industrial law, chiropractors are primary care physicians and are qualified to open and manage your workers compensation claim. Chiropractors are specialists in the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal injuries such as disc bulges/herniations, strains/sprains, knee/shoulder/wrist injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome and others.
Improper lifting is one of the leading causes of workplace injuries.
In fact, if you have a disc herniation it may be to your great advantage to have a chiropractor as the doctor who manages your case. A 2012 study tracked workers compensation injuries involving lumbar disc surgery within 3 years of filing their claims. It showed that 42.7% of workers who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who first saw a chiropractor.
There are two types of workers compensation claims: state industrial accidents like lifting injuries and occupational illnesses such as carpal tunnel or tendonitis that is usually repetitive in nature. In either case, medically necessary treatment may be allowed. In all instances, the goal is to keep an injured person working while the injury is healing. However, in some circumstances, light duty may be available or even time-loss can be paid to you if you are unable to work at all. Our doctors of chiropractic strive to return the injured worker to their regular lifestyle and normal job as quickly as possible. They have 40+ years of experience with state industrial law and can be a great ally for you in these important matters.
Spinal & Sports Care Clinic utilizes high tech treatments such as spinal decompression and low level (cold) laser to treat conditions like disc herniations. They also use more conventional therapies such as low force instrument adjusting, spinal manipulation and myofascial release techniques like Graston. Your individual treatment program will vary and you can discuss it personally with the doctor.
If more extensive soft tissue treatment is needed, our chiropractors can refer you to one of our five highly qualified massage therapists who work at the Spinal & Sports Care Clinic. Massage therapy is a covered service under workers compensation law in Washington State.
Of course, pain relief may just be part of the solution regarding your work injury. Rehabilitating the injured area is necessary unless you want to go through the entire process again. For that reason you will usually receive therapeutic stretching and strengthening exercises to stabilize your condition so it doesn’t come back.
At Spinal and Sports Care you will receive a custom rehab prescription which includes both stretching and strengthening exercises.
Workers compensation rules were enacted in Washington State in 1911 to protect you, the injured worker, from catastrophic injury and disability. Spinal & Sports Care Clinic providers are well-equipped to handle your case. They already work with many medical providers in the region, including the field of occupational medicine. Our knowledgeable staff can assist you through the maze of paperwork and get you started on the road to recovery and health. Call Spinal & Sports Care Clinic today at 922-0303.