When you think of an athlete, it’s reasonable to see that they use every part of their body to play their sport. A tennis player doesn’t just use their arms to hit a ball, they need strong legs to run and pivot and a strong core with which to generate force. Likewise, a soccer player generates a great amount of strength and power from their core and upper body just as much as they kick with their legs.
When someone is injured in their workplace, getting them better and back to work safely requires a great understanding of what their job entails. If a Physical Therapist had never seen a game of tennis, how could they possibly rehab the athlete to perform at an optimal level? That also applies to an injured worker. They may need Physical Therapy for their knee, but just like the athlete, they use their whole body while they work.
A Physical Therapist needs to have a strong understanding of what their job entails to safely return them back to work. When an athlete is on the injured list for a shoulder injury, their rehab also focuses on their lower body to avoid deconditioning while they are out of the game. Similarly, when an injured worker is unable to work, their whole body needs to be worked on to avoid that same deconditioning. Take a carpenter for example. whether they have an upper or lower body injury, they need to be able to reach overhead, push, pull, kneel, crawl, climb ladders, and carry with 1 or both hands. All aspects of their job MUST be addressed to allow for a safe and effective return to work.
At Physical Therapy focus, we view our injured workers as Industrial Athletes. We obtain a job description from the employer to get the specifics on their job demands. When appropriate, we provide onsite job visits and make ergonomic recommendations that pertain to the current injury as well as for future injury prevention. If you have been injured on the job, seek a Physical Therapist who understands the big picture and not just the injury.