When you sustain injuries, you want to get the best possible treatment to make sure your condition doesn’t uproot your entire life. In general, employees who get injured at work are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits help them access Wisconsin physical therapy without paying out of pocket or using personal insurance.
Why Physical Therapy is Important After a Workplace Injury
Physical therapy helps restore functions or mobility, improve strength, speed up recovery, relieve pain, and prevent the risk of future injuries. It is necessary if your injury impairs one of your functions. For example, if you break your leg and keep it in a cast to heal for a few months, you may have to see a physical therapist to regain full mobility in your leg or strengthen the affected muscles.
A physical therapist will listen to you to know how you were injured and assess your symptoms, range of motion, and strength. After they come up with a diagnosis, they will work closely with your and your doctor to help reduce your pain, strengthen your body, and get you back to work without pain. Typically, your therapy starts with a focused treatment to resolve the acute symptoms associated with your injury. Then, the therapist will give you a movement exercise program to restore range of motion and mobility. The last part of your therapy is to transition into a work conditioning/strengthening program to prepare you for return-to-work demands.
Does Workers’ Comp Cover Physical Therapy?
Generally, physical therapy is considered as an extension of medical treatment and workers’ comp benefits can cover this. But, it may come down to the decision of your doctor. Your employer may have the right to pick who will be treating your work injury. If your workers’ comp physician considers physical therapy necessary in your case and recommends it, your physical therapy costs are covered by your workers’ compensation benefits. Never seek physical therapy outside the recommendation of your doctor thinking that the insurance company will cover it. This may hurt your claim, particularly if you still need to follow your workers’ comp treatment. The insurance company may argue that you are not following the orders of your doctor.
It is important to talk to your doctor and inform them about why you feel you must get physical therapy. They may not be fully aware of how demanding your job is, so they may wrongly assume your injuries have healed enough to let you get back to work without extra therapy. Having an honest conversation with your doctor may help you get access to physical therapy.