When you see your doctor follow a work-related injury, they will likely suggest physical therapy. Workers’ comp physical therapy can be an excellent way for you to regain your range of motion and relieve pain. Bayside Physical Therapy, Chiropractic & Acupuncture is here to help you find a physical therapist that accepts workers’ compensation, putting you on the path to recovery until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement.
What Is Physical Therapy?
Before you schedule an appointment with a physical therapist, you likely want to know what is physical therapy. Physical therapy (also called PT) is a treatment that helps you live, move, and function better.
Physical therapy can help you:
- Improve ability and/or mobility
- Relieve pain
- Recover from an injury
- Prevent the need for surgery
- Prevent a disability
- Rehabilitate following an injury, accident, or surgery
- Improve balance
- Control bladder or bowels
- Receive a brace or splint
- Learn how to use a cane, walker, or another assistive device
- Adapt to an artificial limb
It can also treat:
- Conditions affecting hands, from trigger finger to carpal tunnel syndrome
- Back pain
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
In addition to all of the above ways that physical therapy can help after work-related injuries, physical therapists also provide rehabilitation after a stroke and help patients recover from a sports injury. These specialists also help patients manage chronic illnesses such as arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease and assist with recovery following birth.
Moreover, physical therapy can help with cardiopulmonary conditions, neurological conditions, and musculoskeletal dysfunctions. You may also be referred to a physical therapist for diabetic ulcers, pelvic floor dysfunction, cerebral palsy, and tennis elbow.
What Workplace Injuries Can Require What Is Physical Therapy?
Nearly any injury at work can require physical therapy, depending on the situation. But the following are some of the most common:
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Being hit by falling objects or equipment
- Being hit by other workers
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Muscle strains
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Explosions and fire
- Exposure to harmful chemicals
What to Expect from Physical Therapy
Your first appointment for workers’ comp physical therapy will involve assessing your condition. Expect to tell your physical therapist about the accident or injury at work, your medical history, and your goals for your daily life.
Your physical therapist will also conduct a physical exam, which will check your balance, posture, and heart rate while active. The exam will also test your ability to walk, climb stairs, move around, bend, and grasp.
Based on the evaluation and information you provide, they will come up with a treatment plan. At this point, they should have a better idea of how long does physical therapy take for your situation.
Benefits of Physical Therapy
Having workers’ comp physical therapy in New York can lead to a long list of benefits, including:
- Managing pain (reducing the need for opioids or prescription medications)
- Improving mobility
- Avoiding surgery
- Recovering from trauma or injury
- Reducing the duration of the injury
- Preventing falls
- Preventing future injuries
- Improving balance
- Improving strength and conditioning
- Promoting long-term health
- Returning to work with more strength
- Staying motivated
- Strengthening your core
- Undergoing work conditioning
If you see a physical therapist for issues unrelated to your workplace injury in the future, you may also benefit from recovering from paralysis or stroke and managing age-related medical problems.
What Treatments Does Physical Therapy Include?
The exact treatment that your physical therapist recommends will depend on your condition and medical history and NYS Workers’ Compensation Board medical treatment guidelines. One of the great things about physical therapy is that it can include a range of treatments, making it adaptable to anyone’s needs.
With that in mind, some potential treatments from physical therapy include:
- Stretches or exercises
- Heat therapy
- Cold therapy
- Electrical stimulation, including transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) or neuromuscular electrical stimulation
- Warm water therapy
- Rehab to teach you to use an artificial limb
- Practice using a cane, walker, or another gadget to help with balance and movement
Physical therapy can involve outpatient therapy services as well as completing some exercises at home. Keep in mind that your physical therapist may adjust your treatment as you progress.
How Long Does Physical Therapy Take?
There is no single answer to how long physical therapy takes, as it is different for every injured worker based on the injury and overall condition. Some people only need one or two sessions, while others need a treatment duration of months or years.
The main factors affecting how long does physical therapy take include the severity of your injury and the part of your body affected by the injury. Your body’s recovery rate and the level of effort you exert at recovery also affect the amount of physical therapy you need.
If you are curious, the reason that different types of tissue have different healing rates comes down to blood flow. Blood flow supplies oxygen and nutrients that promote healing. Muscle heals the quickest because of its rich blood supply. By contrast, cartilage has no blood supply at all, which is why it is so slow to heal.
Find a Workers’ Comp Physical Therapist in Queens, New York
When you need a workers’ comp healthcare professional, let Bayside Physical Therapy, Chiropractic & Acupuncture help you. Our board-certified physical therapists accept workers’ compensation insurance.
This helps ensure your claim is processed smoothly, as you will receive proper compensation. Of course, you also don’t have to worry about whether the physical therapist will accept your insurance.
As a bonus, physical therapists that accept workers’ comp are more likely to have plenty of experience treating injuries similar to yours. This will streamline diagnosis, treatment, and the recovery process.