The Role of Chiropractic in Preventing Injuries in the Work Place
If asked about the role of a chiropractor in industry, you would probably answer that they treat injuries sustained on the job.
Certainly, this is true. In fact, a high percentage of work-related injuries are neuro-musculo-skeletal in nature. As chiropractors, by our philosophy and training, we are uniquely qualified to treat these types of injuries. Since the 1970’s, a number of retrospective studies have been performed on workers’ compensation claim statistics in several states.
Although each study differed, examined parameters included lost work days, costs compared to other types of treatment and patient satisfaction.
Overall, these studies showed chiropractors provided cost-effective treatment. They found less total treatment costs as well as fewer lost work days due to injury.
However, there is more to the answer of the question above; chiropractors do much more than just treat back pain.
Chiropractors focus on structure, warning signs and causes. Likewise, the chiropractor focus in industry is on prevention. We look at workplace health using a proactive model. This means we must try to prevent as many on-the-job injuries as possible instead of just reacting to them when they occur. However, even when we work proactively on workplace health, we realize that sometimes injuries occur and accidents happen. So we must try to prevent as many problems as possible yet be ready to effectively treat those that do occur.
This is our focus:
Our philosophy and training is to be proactive. We are state certified to provide workplace training programs for occupational health.
There are many preventative strategies. These can include employee education programs, workplace stretching instruction, and individualized flexibility and strength exams with specific exercise instruction. Ergonomic assessments can be performed. Ergonomics refers to better fitting a job to a specific worker instead of having the worker (using bad posture or motions) conform to the job. Perhaps just a few simple suggestions to our patients in the office can change how they go about their work and prevent future problems. Also, on-site chiropractic preventive treatment programs and massage (our massage therapists are trained by myself in extra myofascial techniques) can be used to correct alignment and other mechanical imbalances before an injury can occur as well as to increase the employee’s innate ability to stay well.
Remember, the other part of the proactive concept is to be better prepared in case of injury. The employer should have a specific procedure to follow when a worker is injured. This should help ensure prompt treatment. And, of course professional, cost-effective treatment is necessary as well.
Our role as your company Doctor can be quite important. I am available to you for any of these options below:
- Assessing your situation/Preassessment
- Educational Brown Bag workshops
- Employee injury prevention education/worshops (1-2 hr)
- After injury strategies
* There are workbooks and exercise cards that can be offered as well. Some of the topics covered in this manual are: anatomy, body activities and positions, stretching exercises, lifting techniques, and computer workstation ergonomics.