Dealing with injuries, pain, and illness can be hard. In many of these scenarios, work restrictions might become necessary. However, you really do not want to go to the wrong kind of doctor who may not be eligible to let you off work.
Chiropractors usually emerge as saviors in any injury-related situation. The noninvasive approach of chiropractic well suits many. But can a chiropractor give work restrictions?
There’s no clear answer to that. Mainly, this depends on your employer’s FMLA coverage, disability insurance, and your medical issues. In this article, we will look into this answer more broadly. We will tell you every possible requirement to get the restriction approved through a chiropractor.
What Is a Chiropractor?
Chiropractors treat a wide range of health problems in people of all ages. After college, a chiropractor goes to school for four to five years to get their Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree. They are well-known as experts at helping people with headaches, back pain, and neck pain.
Chiropractors also treat a wide range of injuries and illnesses that affect the muscles, ligaments, and joints. They use manipulations or mobilizations, which are also known as chiropractic adjustments. They also give their patients advice on healthy eating, exercise, and healthy habits and bring appropriate modifications to their work and personal lives.
Chiropractic Care for Work-Related Injuries
An experienced chiropractor can help you get better from your injuries and keep them from happening again. Certain injuries at work can stretch and tear muscles and ligaments, causing pain and discomfort. These injuries can sometimes also cause long-term issues like back pain or bulging discs.
Getting medical help right away is important in such a scenario. And a chiropractor’s help can be the best bet here.
Chiropractic care realigns the musculoskeletal system, restores joint function, decompresses nerves, and speeds up muscle recovery. All of these are done using some common techniques, such as manual manipulations, massage, acupuncture, etc.
But now things get a little tricky. Based on their job description, chiropractors are clearly experts in their field. So, if you have a problem with your back or neck, you might think that a chiropractor would be a good doctor to see in order to get work restrictions approved. It is not always like this, though. A lot of things affect this, which we will talk about below.
Chiropractors and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 recognizes chiropractors as valid medical professionals for approving leave. However, getting a short-term disability approved through a chiropractor can be challenging unless certain conditions are met.
For approval, the chiropractor has to take an x-ray. They also need to treat any problems with your spine that they think keep you from working. Without an x-ray or treatment for conditions other than spinal misalignments, FMLA is unlikely to approve your leave.
Remember, even meeting these requirements doesn’t guarantee approval. Much depends on individual cases and practitioners under FMLA guidelines. Additionally, they consider whether your employer qualifies under FMLA standards. This includes private sector employers with at least 50 employees over 20 workweeks in the past year.
Besides, it also covers any local state or federal government agency, as well as private secondary or elementary schools. You should check with HR to see if your company fits one of these categories.
Chiropractors and Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability is more about long-term disabilities. However, it is still important to mention it here. When the Social Security Administration (SSA) decides on a claim, they do not look at what chiropractors say.
That being said, if your chiropractor took x-rays, these could help you get a medical doctor’s approval and other information. You will need to get copies of the x-rays and bring them to the Social Security office handling your claim. That’s because the SSA will not call your chiropractor to ask for these records.
Chiropractors and Employee Or Employer Insurance
No one rule applies to chiropractors when it comes to insurance. This is true whether it is private or through their job. Some insurance companies use chiropractors’ opinions to decide if someone is temporarily disabled. Other insurance plans do not. Check with your private disability insurance or talk to your employer about this.
Many people say that when they go to the doctor for back pain, the doctor just “waits and sees.” It can be a problem if you want to get work-off quickly.
In this instance, you might be pleasantly surprised by the outcomes if you have never visited a chiropractor before. You might get better quickly with chiropractic treatment. Hence, you will not need a short-term disability.
When Can a Chiropractor Give Work Restrictions?
You need to talk to your boss about when or if you can take time off to see a chiropractor. No matter how long you need off, you should talk to your boss or private disability insurance to find the best plan for you.
Check to see if the FMLA applies to your company. If so, and you have had x-rays and spinal adjustments, you might be able to take time off work to heal.
Q. Can Chiropractors Write Notes for Work?
Ans. Yes. Chiropractors can write a note to an employer telling them that an employee is hurt and can not do their job. They can fill out a functional abilities form and suggest changes to duties or graduated hours. They can also write an employee a note telling them to go back to work. However, for some long-term disability claims, the forms need to be filled out by a medical doctor. If this is the case, you should talk to your claims carrier.
Q. How Often Do You Need to See a Chiropractor After a Work Injury?
Ans. You might need to go to three appointments a week for two weeks. After this, you might need appointments once a week for a while. Then, depending on your condition, you may only need maintenance appointments every two to four weeks.
Work-related injuries can be frustrating. They hamper your performance, slow you down, and your company, too. Besides, without proper care, they can lead to chronic back pain.
Chiropractic care is highly beneficial for treating such injuries. Besides, with a chiropractor’s approval, you can get the necessary work restrictions. But certain standards, like those of FMLA, must be met.
Before anything else, you must focus on getting the best chiropractic care first. The Brost Clinic should be your prime choice here. With the help of our certified chiropractic professionals’ in Minnesota, your work injury will diminish in no time. Contact us today to get an appointment.