The definition of disability is quite broad and depending on an occupation, an injured worker can easily be classified as “disabled” if the injury either partially or totally prevents them from working. The psychological and emotional aspects of the label may have as much, if not more, impact than the physical limitations of the injury itself.
How we feel about ourselves, especially in relation to our ability to lead a productive life where we can work, support our families, and be a positive contributor to society, establish who we are. When we can’t work, negative thoughts and feelings quickly influence our real or perceived opinions about our self worth.
We know that true chronic pain accounts for about 10% of all disability. The latest research indicates that the best practices for pain management are to help workers remain active (at work) so they have the confidence to return to normal activities. They can manage their pain instead of it managing them.
The other 90% of disability fall into a category of medical conditions with “delayed recovery” factors. Medically, a delayed recovery is essentially when a person is not responding to medical treatment within a normal timeframe. Pre-existing conditions and co-morbidities can delay recovery but much of the progress is a function of attitude.
For more information on how you can help your employees get better faster, call The Flanders Group at 800-462-6435.