Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation
With the emergence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and the associated high cost of injured workers, physical therapists are in a unique position to help employers manage these concerns through multidisciplinary injury prevention programs, education, ergonomics, on-site treatment, and return to work programs. The purpose of this paper, through a review of the literature, is to describe the effect that workplace injuries have on employees and the economic burden on employers. Furthermore, this paper will highlight the effectiveness a physical therapist can have in the occupational health setting as part of a multidisciplinary team on ergonomics, employee health, prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, return to work programs, and on-site treatment interventions, such as therapeutic exercise and manual intervention. This review of the literature suggests that participation in ergonomics and on-site physical therapy treatment in the workplace (e.g., education, exercise, manual intervention) has a positive effect on decreasing work-related musculoskeletal disorders, decreasing costs associated with these injuries, increasing work productivity, and decreasing absenteeism and improving presenteeism amongst workers. It is important to ensure that payers, employers, and employees are aware of the crucial role physical therapists can play in occupational health. Physical therapists also need to advocate for their role in occupational health and offer expert care to workers in a nontraditional manner.
ergonomics, on-site physical therapy, injury prevention, work-related musculoskeletal disorders
Prall, J., & Ross, M. (2019). The Management of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Injuries in an Occupational Health Setting: The Role of the Physical Therapist. Journal Of Exercise Rehabilitation, 15(2), 193–199. https://doi.org/10.12965/jer.1836636.318