Chiropractic: Getting Injured Workers Back To Work Faster

More than 85 per cent of the working population will experience back-related injuries or conditions and Health Canada estimates that musculoskeletal disorders, including back pain, cost society $16.4 billion in treatment, rehabilitation and lost-time costs. In Alberta, back injuries in the workplace account for more than 25 per cent of all Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) lost-time claims.

Workplace injuries can strike any industry. While traditionally associated with physical labourers like construction worker or warehouse employees, back pain, strain or injury also affects office workers, retail/sales employees, professional drivers and healthcare providers.

Back pain, strain or injury can happen when you least expect it—bending, lifting, twisting the wrong way, sitting hunched over at the computer, or even stepping out of a vehicle after a long day of driving.

“People who perform any kind of physical activity as part of their job find that a significant portion of their day-to-day tasks involve their back muscles,” says Dr. Clark Mills, president of the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors. “Improper lifting or moving can easily lead to back strain or injury and if not managed and treated quickly, can result in serious pain and the inability to perform regular everyday activities.”

If an employee suffers a back strain or injury, consider chiropractic. It is accessible, clinically effective, cost effective and yields very high patient satisfaction. Sustainable on-the-job recovery and rapid return-to-work statistics strongly support chiropractic as the treatment of choice for back-related workplace injuries.

Statistics show that patients receiving chiropractic care return to work faster and at less cost than with other forms of treatment. For employers, this means that increased use of chiropractic care can reduce premium costs for benefits and contribute to improved productivity. Cumulative performance statistics over the past decade from WCB Alberta indicate chiropractic is the most consistent and cost-effective treatment per claim.

Providing employees with regular chiropractic benefits through extended health care plans also plays a vital role in managing costs. It not only enhances the integration and delivery of self-referred health care, but can improve organizational health and productivity and play a greater role in improving bottom line results by reducing absenteeism and disability.

Since there are many ways for workers to strain or injure their back at work, both employers and employees need to examine the work environment and activities to assess the risk for job-related injury.

“Sometimes it is simply a matter of modifying tasks, like changing the way you bend or lift or taking more frequent breaks from sitting,” says Dr. Mills.

Chiropractors are back care experts and the obvious practitioner of choice for treatment of back pain, injury and related conditions. They can also provide advice and guidance on preventing work-related injuries, including information on improving workplace ergonomics and stretches and exercises to keep employees working comfortably. No referral is necessary and access to treatment is very rapid.

Close to one million Albertans consult a chiropractor each year—shouldn’t your employees? With hundreds of chiropractic clinics located throughout the province, finding a chiropractor is easy.

For more information about back health in the workplace and chiropractic care, including the Find a Chiropractor tool, visit www.albertachiro.com.