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Does working from home create a need for physical therapy?

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

During the past year, many employees transitioned from reporting to the office each morning to clearing a place at the kitchen table. Parents have spent months struggling to find a balance between completing their required job duties and helping their children continue their studies.

As families search for a new normal, however, the stress of being cooped up at home for months on end is taking a toll. Possibly due to makeshift workstations and closed gyms, worker’s bodies are responding with increased aches and pains.

Three reasons employees seek treatment

Physical therapists experienced a decline in visits last winter, as the global health crisis took shape in the United States. Yet, during recent months, patient visits have grown to pre-pandemic numbers.

Some of the commonly reported problems relate to hip and knee injuries, likely related to the influx of home exercises begun on an individual basis. Other concerns involve:

  • Shoulder, neck and upper back pain, which have become more common among employees without ergonomic office furniture
  • Recurrence of previous injuries, brought on by the anxiety of current events
  • A decrease in self-help activities, since working from home often entails a blurred line between business and personal life

In an office setting, employees typically get up and move around during the day. At home, however, it’s easy to get overly comfortable.

Workers’ compensation may cover rehabilitation

Rather than provide medications to minimize discomfort, physical therapists use specific exercises and manual techniques to address muscle tone and agility. Symptom relief is the desired effect, which typically transpires as patients gain strength and flexibility.

Regardless of where they’re performing their work-related duties, injured employees could potentially qualify for physical therapy treatments as part of an approved workers’ compensation claim. In some cases, this may be in the best interest of all involved.

Studies suggest early intervention might speed up the recovery process. Meanwhile, this type of medical attention has the potential to speed recovery time and help employees return to work.