The Road Back: 4 Tips to Transitioning from North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Back to Work

February 4, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Few hardworking individuals prefer to stay on North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits indefinitely. Unfortunately, with the state’s job market still somewhat in limbo – and with your own medical future potentially in doubt, you and your family may be losing hope that you will ever be able to transition back to the workforce in a real and meaningful way. This blog post will hopefully inspire you to realize that return to work is indeed possible – and you may be able to get back on track faster than you ever realized. Here are some things to think about:

1. Are you really getting the “best care” for your condition?

Employees’ who suffer an occupational disease, like chemically-induced emphysema or repetitive work-induced damage to soft tissue, do not always get high quality care from their doctors. Busy physicians may overlook important causes; a more holistic approach to wellness may be needed. For instance, say a person gets a serious typing injury while working at a bank in the Research Triangle. His doctor gives him cortisone shots. These don’t work, so he’s told to undergo surgery. The surgery may offer temporary relief. But the underlying insults to the soft tissues and ligaments and muscles may not be repaired – thus, someone on North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits may remain out of good working condition… until he re-learns how to use his or her body correctly and eliminates fibrous nodules called “trigger points” in the upper back, chest, and thoracic regions.

2. Focus on your goals and eliminate your road blocks

Professionals in athletics and business coaching often emphasize goal-oriented thinking. Rehab specialists also encourage thinking in terms of goals – and using visualization. But many recovering workers are never encouraged to think in vivid positive terms about the future. They are merely told to “get back to normal.” It may be more helpful to aim for a very positive, optimistic outlook to galvanize healing. It’s a lot more exciting, for sure, to think about going back to work and earning twice as much as you had been earning than it is to daydream about maybe, possibly getting your old job back and working half the hours.

3. Focus on improving your strength

When you are on disability, you may be tempted to spend a lot of time resting and recuperating. This is good. But don’t let this sedentary attitude harden. Improving your muscular strength can have many long-term benefits. Talk to your doctor and rehab specialist about doing isometric strength training exercises (ideally, in a slow, controlled fashion) to speed up your recovery time.

4. Avail yourself of good legal resources

A North Carolina workers’ compensation law firm can provide a free evaluation of your current situation and help you think strategically about how to collect benefits, how to budget for the near and mid-term future, and how to get additional resources to improve your recovery.

More Web Resources:

Strength Training Help

RSI resources


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