We have recently had an increase in the number of patients attending the practice with work injuries. Here is one of their stories highlighting some important points about the Physiotherapist’s involvement in their recovery.
Emily* recently came into our Morphett Vale practice after having sustained a lower back injury lifting at work. She worked in an office where she was required to lift boxes of archive files that were being shipped offsite for storage. The boxes weighed up to 10kg and she had to lift them from the floor onto shelves of different heights where they were stored.
When Emily* came to see us she had a lot of back pain that ran down one of her legs, she wasn’t sure if it was her leg or her back that she had strained. Her doctor ordered an X-ray this showed that there were no structural problems in her spine. Her Physio’s assessment diagnosed her as having a minor disc problem that was causing referred pain. She found sitting and walking uncomfortable and when she came to the clinic had already had a couple of days off of work.
The Physio treatment focused on all the aggravating activities that would be stopping the normal healing from happening. The initial outcome was that Emily* had some very specific stretches to relieve the pain, some tape on her back for postural support and feedback and guidance on the activities that she was able to do. By the third visit Emily’s* pain had localised to her back and she had gotten back to work.
At this stage the Physio organised a visit to her worksite to look over the set up of Emily’s* workstation. While this wasn’t the cause of her injury, it was an important part of making sure that she could get back to work without any hiccups. Her Physio was able to make some minor changes to her chair and computer position, this made a difference to how she felt.
By the third week, Emily* was pain free and back at work full time without restrictions and was looking at a home exercise program. To help Emily* cope with her loads at work the Physio organised some exercise equipment and focused on building strength through her back and core. At this point Emily* was visiting the Physio weekly, once she had learnt her exercise program, her appointments were spread out to fortnightly visits.
Emily’s* case was a great example of how these sort of injuries can be quite straight forward when you can address them quickly.
Everyone’s injury is different, if you have any questions about an injury at work make an appointment and speak to one of our Physios.
*The name has been changed to protect the privacy of our client.