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What Kinds of Work Injuries Might Require Physical Therapy?

work injuries

Have you been injured at work recently? If so, the chances that physical therapy can help you get back on your feet and back to work are pretty high. While getting hurt at work isn't ideal, it is common. Work injury rehabilitation comes in many forms, and physical therapists are trained to ensure you have a smooth recovery and proper care.

Repetitive Motion

While performing your job, it is common to perform the same movement frequently. The most common motion is typing on a keyboard, which may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. The benefit of physical therapy for a repetitive motion-type injury is the training and strengthening of the muscle affected. This type of injury is generally a result of overuse and weakness. Physical therapy will focus on the importance of rest and repair initially and then begin to build up the muscle with strength training and ensuring proper body mechanics for future use.


Injuries occurred from hyperextension may result from a pull, push, or lifting action. This is a common workplace injury generally due to poor posture and technique that results in your joint being bent in the wrong direction. The back is the most common area injured. However, overextension can occur anywhere including the shoulders, knees, or other body extremities. While treating this injury, physical therapy will focus on strength-training exercises, proper stretching, and endurance activities such as biking or swimming to strengthen ligaments and tendons.

Fall Injuries

During your work day, you may need to walk on hazardous terrain such as ice or snow to deliver mail, climb up and down ladders to replace a lightbulb, or may just walk on a wet floor without a caution sign. There are numerous ways that a fall can occur but the use of physical therapy after this type of injury is important. Physical therapists would first focus on the healing of the main injury sustained. However, after healing the patient, they can focus on balance and gait training to prevent further falls from occurring. 

Machine Injuries

Various jobs require the utilization of machinery, whether that is a forklift, table saw, or grinding machine. The various types of injuries that can occur with operating heavy machinery are endless. If this type of injury occurs, physical therapy will be able to develop a personalized treatment plan to focus on injury recovery and restoring your previous function.

There are numerous ways physical therapy can assist in the healing process of a work-related injury, such as fixing improper form, stretching and strengthening of joints and muscles, and preventing the build-up of scar tissue. Most patients find physical therapy not only useful in their recovery but also find educational value in learning what your body is capable of.