How Occupational Therapy Fits into Our Occupational Medicine Program

How Occupational Therapy Fits into Our Occupational Medicine Program

In 2019, 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private businesses. The number of all work-related injuries was likely much higher. Since they tend to be orthopaedic in nature, patients suffering from them should seek treatment at a clinic that specializes in those types of conditions. If you or an employee of yours suffers from a work-related ailment, you’ll want an occupational medicine program like the one at MidAmerica Orthopaedics to receive the most appropriate treatment possible.

An occupational medicine program takes a comprehensive approach to work-related injuries and offers everything you’ll need, from the diagnosis at the onset of an injury to follow-up treatment after you’ve recovered. Occupational therapy (OT) is a big part of making a prompt return to work possible. Through sessions with occupational therapists and at-home exercises, patients can improve their strength, flexibility, and range of motion so they’re able to resume their normal daily activities.

The benefits you can receive from an occupational medicine program include:

  • High degree of specialization
  • Expertise in upper extremities and hand-based issues
  • Follow-up tests under one roof
  • Decreased travel time with on-site services
  • Workers’ Compensation case management

What Is the Occupational Medicine Program?

An occupational medicine program is designed with the specialties needed to help patients improve in areas related to their general needs as well as improve their ability to perform work-related tasks. Since most occupational injuries we see are orthopaedic in nature, your physician will be able to provide the most accurate diagnosis and best treatment plan for acute injuries and chronic conditions alike. OT treatment is offered in combination with in-house ancillary services and a licensed Orthopaedic Surgery Center if necessary.

Work injuries are not only hurtful to workers, but they’re costly to employers. Manufacturing workers alone missed 32,470 days of work in 2019 due in large part to strains, sprains, and other on-the-job injuries. An additional benefit for patients as well as their employers is that clinics like MidAmerica know how to handle workers' compensation cases. Patients can receive comprehensive care at one location and return to a restricted work program as quickly as possible. Dedicated workers are here to handle compensation case management, as well.

Occupational Therapy (OT) Central to Program

With “occupational” right there in the name, you can guess that OT is central to the success of an occupational medicine program. Like physical therapy, the patient works closely with a therapist for a prescribed number of weeks as part of their treatment. The therapist you work with will design and implement an appropriate home exercise program to increase motion, dexterity, and/or strength in the affected area – and get you back to work and to life as soon as possible.

Typically, OT is performed on patients with conditions affecting the hands and upper extremities as part of their rehabilitation. The patients may have been affected by an accident or trauma leaving them with wounds, injured tendons, nerves, or fractures. Others patients suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow (elbow tendonitis), as well as from chronic conditions caused by repetitive motions.

Our physicians and therapists take a holistic approach to patient care. What does OT provide

  • Pain management
  • Desensitization following nerve injury or trauma
  • Sensory re-education after nerve injury
  • Splint fabrication for prevention or correction of injury
  • Training in daily life skills through adapted methods and equipment
  • Conditioning prior to patient’s return to work

Occupational Therapy Helps Patients Return to Work Faster

If you struggle with everyday tasks due to one of those problems, getting the appropriate therapy for your condition will likely be integral to a speedier recovery. The therapy itself is performed with a high degree of specialization that will hasten your return to a productive lifestyle. For patients struggling to perform certain work-related tasks, identifying their core problem can make the difference between a fast return to work and future setbacks. OT is used to correct a wide range of struggles and can greatly improve the quality of life for just about any patient who receives it.

Are you in need of occupational therapy for an injury? Our experts are here to answer all of your questions. To request an Independent Medical Evaluation at MidAmerica Orthopaedics, please fill out our convenient online form

To schedule an appointment for Occupational Therapy at one of our locations, please call (708)-237-7200. Our occupational therapy patients come to us from Alsip, Bridgeview, Frankfort, Tinley Park, Orland Park, Homer Glen, New Lenox, Oak Lawn, Worth, Evergreen Park, and Burbank.

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