The Risks of Returning to Work Too Soon After an Injury
For many, the thought of returning to work to begin living their “normal” life again is something they’ve been longing for. While it may sound like a dream come true to not work and continue to get a paycheck, it’s actually very common for those out of work due to a workplace injury to feel ready to return, as sitting at home not doing much tends to get boring quickly.
While you may be eagerly awaiting the day you return to work, it’s important to know when it is safe to do so, to ensure that you recover properly and don’t cause additional problems to arise.
The Negative Side Effects of Returning to Work Too Soon
On the other side of the spectrum, we have those who wish to return to work but have not been cleared to do so. There should be no rush to get back to work when you are not in a position to do so. Taking the proper time off to recover fully is extremely important to your health and overall well-being.
If you find yourself getting back to work before you are cleared to return, you may experience some of the following:
Frustration - It’s quite common to expect to be able to work near your full capacity once you return. This is however not always the case, especially when you return to work too soon after your injury. One example is not being able to lift the things you were able to before your injury. When you return to work and are unable to perform your daily tasks, it may lead to a slower completion of your duties, ending in frustration. Not only may you feel frustrated in your ability to not perform at your best, but you may also experience pain while doing your daily work. Between feeling pain and frustration, it may eventually cause you to lose your desire to do your best at work, and in some cases, you may even want to leave your position completely.
Medication side effects - In the event that you are still taking medication following your return to work, or if you are returning early while still taking medication, it may negatively impact your ability to perform at work. Many of the medications prescribed to aid in the recovery of serious injuries may impair a user's ability to do things such as:
Operate heavy machinery
Lift heavy objects
Furthering injuries - You may injure yourself again if your injuries aren’t fully healed. This typically happens in 2 different ways:
Reinjury - You may reinjure the same body part as before. For example, you may have a lower back strain, and after returning to your daily tasks at work (lifting heavy objects, moving heavy objects around, etc.) you may reinjure your back again.
Compensation injury - This is a quite common injury seen following an injury. If you have an injured left shoulder, you may compensate for the duties (lifting heavy objects) at work by using your right side more. This can put additional stress on the right side of your body, which may result in an additional injury.
Are There Benefits to Returning to Work?
If you have been cleared by a medical professional and you find yourself feeling completely healed and ready to return to work, returning to an active work life may actually help you recover even further.
Some benefits of returning to work when healthy enough include:
An increase in income
Additional workplace benefits
Getting back in a routine can do wonders for mental health
You may have friends at work, and being around them may also help with mental health recovery
How Morales & Cerino Can Help
If you have questions concerning whether it is safe to return to work or not, you should consider speaking with a qualified Florida workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your situation. Working with an attorney will allow you to ask any questions you may have, in addition to ensuring that the proper steps are taken to protect your rights and your health.
At Morales & Cerino, our team of highly experienced Hialeah workers’ compensation attorneys has been helping our clients seek the compensation they need and deserve to get their life back on track.
Call us today at (305) 340-2630 to schedule your free consultation.