For many workers who have had a workplace injury, their first question is:
“How long am I going to miss work?”
In a perfect world, everything would get put aside to make sure that they can recover from their injuries fully. However, bills, kids, and other living expenses combined with missed wages mean that most workers want to return to work as soon as possible. Returning to work after a workplace injury needs to be handled carefully: making sure that you’ve recovered fully needs to be the top priority while also preventing re-injury.
Here are some tips to make sure that you can recover and return to work as quickly and safely as possible:
How to Make Recovery and Returning to Work Easier
Focus on Your Recovery
The most important aspect of a workplace injury is making sure that you recover from your injuries. That’s why it’s so important to put your all into your recovery so that you can return to work safely as quickly as possible. Insurance, lawyers, medical bills, and living expenses can put a lot of stress on a patient and take their mind off of their treatment. This lack of focus can make physical therapy take longer than necessary and make it more difficult to recover fully.
At COMP, we understand that dealing with a workplace injury and being out of work for an extended period of time is stressful. That is why our team works with our patients and their employers to help with insurance, lawyers, paperwork, and everything else related to workers’ compensation cases. This allows our patients to breathe easier and focus on their therapy and recovery.
Listen to Your Doctor and Rehabilitative Therapists
When it comes to injury recovery, it’s important to listen to your doctors and rehabilitation therapists. With the amount of education and experience in recovery methods and rehabilitation, they really know what’s best for your body. Follow any directions and recommendations they have so that you can achieve the best results possible. Listening to your medical team will ensure that you don’t re-injure yourself or undo any hard-earned progress you’ve made during your treatment.
Stay In Touch with Your Employer
It’s a good idea to stay in touch with your employer during your recovery. Keep them in the loop about how your recovery is going, what your doctor is telling you, and how soon you may be able to return to work. This will help them to be better prepared for your return in case you have medical restrictions or will need to change duties or positions at work due to your injuries. It’s also important that you don’t allow your employer or the insurance company to pressure you into returning to work before you’ve recovered.
Don’t Go Back Before You’re Ready
Even though workers’ compensation pay covers most of your weekly pay, it doesn’t cover it all. Bills, rent, and pressure from your employer can make it hard to resist coming back to work as soon as possible, but it’s important to wait until the time is right. Coming back to work too soon only raises the risk of re-injuring yourself and undoing months of treatment. You and your doctor need to be on the same page when it comes to recovery times and treatment windows. You can tell when your body is or isn’t ready; it’s important to listen to what your body and your doctor are telling you.
Ask for Accommodations/Work Restrictions
Depending on the type of injury you’ve suffered and any lingering effects it may have, you may need to ask for reasonable accommodations or work restrictions. These can be either permanent or temporary depending on your needs. Your doctor will determine if you should avoid certain work activities or types of movement when you’ve returned to work. If your doctor does advise you to follow certain restrictions, it’s incredibly important to follow them to prevent re-injuring yourself.
Some of these accommodations or restrictions may include:
- Avoiding heavy lifting
- Avoiding bending over, kneeling, or crawling
- Avoiding standing up for long periods of time (possibly transferring to a desk position)
- Limiting the number of hours during a shift
- Allowing extra breaks to avoid overexerting yourself
At Colorado Occupational Medical Partners, our mission is to deliver the highest quality of occupational health care and physical rehabilitation to return patients to their highest level of function. Our team is dedicated to employers and patients, and we strive to develop strong, positive relationships with a culture based on safety, transparency, empathy, and trust. To find out more, find our location nearest to you.
Let Colorado Occupational Medical Partners be your source for occupational therapies and care in Colorado.