How Physical Therapy Helps Treat and Prevent Musculoskeletal Injuries
Chances are you or someone you know probably suffers from musculoskeletal pain, discomfort, or disorders. Maybe you know one of the 26% of working adults with low back pain. If you do know someone struggling with this pain or discomfort, you know that it often results in disruptions like missing days of work.
In fact, approximately 30% of days away from work in 2018 were due to musculoskeletal disorder cases. The retail trade, manufacturing, and healthcare and human services industries made up 50% of those musculoskeletal disorder cases in the private sector. With this being so common amongst workers and causing major disruptions to their daily lives, employers need effective ways to treat and prevent these injuries. That’s where physical therapy comes in.
3 benefits of treating musculoskeletal injuries with physical therapy
Most people are familiar with the methods of physical therapy, but don’t realize the benefits that come from this noninvasive solution.
1. Reduces the need for surgery or prescription drugs
Treating injuries with physical therapy can often be a great alternative to difficult surgery or risky prescription drugs. One study of musculoskeletal diagnoses in a rural Michigan community found that opioid prescribing was observed in 64% of outpatients and 68.9% of emergency department encounters. Meaning, when you have few options for treating musculoskeletal pain, you’re more likely to be prescribed opioids. Offering onsite physical therapy gives workers access to a non-invasive, effective treatment option that they may not typically turn to.
2. Reduces time away from home and work
Musculoskeletal injuries often need long recovery times. For example, the median number of days away from work due to musculoskeletal disorders was 12 days in 2018. Avoiding surgery through less invasive treatments like physical therapy means employees spend less time away from work, have fewer missed wages, and reduce time spent recovering instead of living their lives.
3. Reduces healthcare costs
Treating musculoskeletal injuries quickly and effectively with physical therapy means cutting down on multiple expensive diagnostic tests and procedures like X-rays, MRIs, or spinal injections. This means your people get their musculoskeletal pain solved right away, with less time and money spent on testing, re-testing, and trying to solve the injury through more expensive interventions.
What makes our approach to musculoskeletal physical therapy services unique?
At Premise, our approach goes beyond basic physical therapy services to bring a service that is integrated, whole-person, personalized, and effective to your people. We deliver this through our onsite or nearsite wellness centers or through virtual visits with local physical therapy providers. A hybrid approach helps us reach your people when and where it’s most convenient for them, whether they’re based at corporate, on the factory floor, or working from home.
Easy access to convenient, onsite physical therapy services that integrate with primary care or occupational health support means your people are more likely to follow through with treatment. Physical therapists can also help inform key decisions about workplace design, furniture selection, and more – keeping in mind both employee preferences and proper ergonomics.
As part of a broader care team, physical therapists can treat multiple health conditions and incorporate lifestyle medicine alongside musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Physical therapy exercises can help improve tolerance to physical activity, which in turn can have positive impacts on sleep, mental health, and chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Rather than just treating the injury, physical therapists encourage overall lifestyle changes to prevent future issues.
Our physical therapists get to know employees and the daily demands of their jobs, so they can understand how to best prevent and treat injuries. Providers work right where your employees do. That means injuries can be treated faster, allowing for quicker healing and less time spent away from work getting treatment.
Expert physical therapy should not only be easy to access, it should also be highly effective. At Premise, we’ve found that on average our physical therapists resolve member’s musculoskeletal symptoms in three fewer visits compared to less convenient providers in the community. Those three fewer visits mean members spend less time out of work and going to appointments, and more time getting back to their normal, everyday activities. It also means saving the costs of those three visits for organizations and members.
Onsite or nearsite physical therapy that can be delivered virtually or in-person is an important tool employers have in their toolbox to help their people treat musculoskeletal disorders, improve mobility, and optimize their function. At Premise, our physical therapy services integrate with other solutions like primary care and occupational health which allows providers to refer members to physical therapy for common musculoskeletal disorders. This care team approach helps our providers make sure all members can get the effective, non-invasive treatment they need.
Contact us to learn more about bringing physical therapy for musculoskeletal issues to your employees and their families.