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The Power of Words in Dealing with Back Injuries

The landscape of addressing personal injuries is changing. As medical professionals are realizing that unnecessary surgeries and procedures may actually exacerbate a patient’s pain, many are seeking alternative ways of addressing injured workers.

Traditional Treatments Not Always Effective

Typically, an injured worker experiencing back pain is sent to undergo an MRI scan, which may lead to an unnecessary surgery. Some doctors find small reasons to operate, and often these types of surgeries can lead to worse pain and a longer recovery period.

Michael Rosenthal, an assistant professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program with San Diego State University, recently told conference attendees, “MRIs trigger illness and increase likelihood of catastrophization. They go from having a mild problem…then they get the results and they rate their pain at a higher level even though there has been little change.”

Alternative Approaches to Pain Management

Instead of sending patients experiencing back pain directly to an MRI scanner, some medical professionals are arguing that a more holistic approach is needed. Doctors, claims handlers, and patients can all use more reassuring and accurate language to reduce tension and ease communication.

For instance, Dr. Jennifer Christian, president and chief medical officer at Webility Corp., urges claims handlers to use the term “your recovery process” instead of “your injury.” Such a small change in wording can go a long way in reassuring individuals experiencing work-related pain. Hopefully, workers who are going through the workers’ compensation process can be met with more therapeutic and constructive conversations on their road to recovery.

Help is One Call Away

Even if medical professionals and claims handlers use a therapeutic approach, filing a workers’ compensation claim can be overwhelming. If you need help seeking compensation for a work-related injury, contact Accident Recovery Legal Center today at 1-888-931-WORK (9675) to schedule a free consultation with an experienced San Jose or Salinas workers’ compensation attorney.