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What to Do if You Are Becoming Dependent on Pain Medication

If you are taking pain medication, you may be concerned about becoming addicted or dependent on it. This is a valid concern, especially if you know you have addictive tendencies or have a family history that includes addiction. If you believe you are starting to become dependent on your pain medication, here are some steps to take.

Signs You Are Becoming Dependent

If you believe you’re starting to become dependent on a medication, there are a few different signs to look for. Do you feel a craving for the medication? If you delay taking it for an hour or so, do you feel any effects? Another sign is that you feel the need to take your pain medication more often than instructed or you want to take more than you should.

Call Your Doctor

Immediately call your doctor if you believe you’re starting to become addicted to your pain medication or any type of medication. If you can’t talk to your doctor right away, ask to speak to a nurse or your doctor’s assistant. Call 911 if you believe you have overdosed or if you are experiencing dangerous symptoms.

Return to Following Your Doctor’s Directions

While your instinct may be to stop taking the pain medication immediately, that can cause further problems. Stopping some medication cold turkey can be dangerous. Instead of stopping, do your best to return to taking the medication as instructed until you can reach your doctor.

Consider Alternatives

If you are concerned about becoming dependent on a medication or already have, talk to your doctor about alternatives. While pain medication may be easy and convenient, it’s often not the best option for managing or reducing the amount of pain you’re in. There may be some exercises that will help your body build up injured muscles or that will help take some of the burden off the injured part of your body. Alternative treatment options such as chiropractic care may also help.

If you need to discuss these alternative options or if you believe you’re starting to become dependent on pain medication, the team at Maximum Orthopedics can help. Contact us today to make an appointment.

  • Posted on: Jan 25 2021
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Preventative Care Tips to Reduce Workers’ Comp Claims

While dealing with workers’ comp claims is often a necessity for business owners, the best option is to never have those cases come up at all. You may not be able to completely avoid dealing with workers’ comp claims, but you can do a lot to reduce the chance of accidents occurring. Here are some preventative care tips you should share with your employees to help them remain healthy and avoid injury.

Take Breaks

It’s important that your employees take regular breaks throughout the day, especially if they do repetitive tasks that could damage their hands, wrists, or arms. Taking breaks helps reduce the chance of chronic issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow. It’s also important that employees take breaks from looking at their computer monitors to relax their eyes. This helps reduce the risk of headache and eyestrain. Taking regular breaks also helps with mental strain and has been shown to improve productivity.

 Get Up and Move Around

In addition to taking breaks, your employees need to get up and move around. Stretching, walking, and in general simply moving helps reduce the risk of a wide number of diseases and other issues. In terms of workers’ comp, moving around helps keep the muscles loose and warm. This, in turn, helps reduce the risk of an accident due to a muscle cramp or other issue.

Create a Safety Program

A safety program will help your employees learn to recognize the routine risks they will face during their regular workday. Your safety program should identify health risks that can be removed or reduced as well as teach employees how to protect themselves. This program should also put standards in place to ensure that equipment is maintained and that procedures are followed. Train your employees regularly on these standards and provide reinforcement training at least every year.

Have a Plan in Place for Injuries

While you can’t prevent all injuries, you can and should have a plan in place for handling them. On-the-job injuries can get much worse if they aren’t attended to quickly. Have fully stocked first-aid kits on hand, and check them regularly to make certain they are still stocked and that everything is up-to-date. If you do have an accident, the team here at Maximum Orthopedics is ready to help. We will assist your employees with diagnosing and treating any workers’ comp injury.

  • Posted on: Jan 15 2021
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Can I File for Workers’ Comp If I Have Covid-19?

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected millions of people around the world. Businesses have closed, schools have gone to virtual education, and medical professionals have dealt with overcrowded hospitals and testing centers. If you have continued working at your standard job site and have been exposed to Covid-19, can you file for workers’ comp? After all, there’s a chance you wouldn’t have contracted the coronavirus if you hadn’t been at work. Because the illness is so new and rules were not written with a global pandemic in mind, the answer is, unfortunately, not so clear.

Workers’ Comp Typically Doesn’t Cover Similar Illnesses

In the past, it has been established that workers’ comp doesn’t apply to any illness or disease that is classified as being community-spread. This includes things like the common cold, the flu, and other conditions that could be spread through standard human contact. On the surface, Covid-19 does fall into this category. The argument can be made that you could come into contact with someone contagious at any location and while doing any activity, so it’s not a work-related risk. However, because of the unique circumstances of the pandemic, some employers and states do consider Covid to be an occupational condition that is covered by workers’ comp under certain conditions.

You Must Be Able to Link Your Infection to the Workplace

Like any other type of workers’ comp claim, you have to be able to directly show that you only contracted Covid because you were at work or were performing a work-related duty elsewhere. Because you may not show symptoms of Covid for several days after contracting it, it’s not always easy to know where you were exposed. In some cases, such as medical workers, first responders, and care providers, it may be easy to connect Covid to your job. In other cases, though, you may not be able to do so. In those cases, your workers’ comp claim may be denied.

The Covid-19 pandemic has already created a great amount of stress, especially in those who do have to continue working in jobs that require contact with the public. Knowing that workers’ comp is available to help with medical and other costs can be a relief. If you need assistance in filing your workers’ comp claim, Maximum Orthopedics can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

  • Posted on: Dec 23 2020
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Does Workers Comp Cover Mental Health?

In many cases, workers’ compensation does cover mental health issues that have arisen as a result of something that occurred at your workplace or during working hours at another location. Like physical injuries, you can make a mental health workers’ comp claim for conditions that were caused by one incident or for conditions that occurred over time.

What Mental Health Conditions Are Covered?

Any type of mental health disorder or condition may be covered by workers’ comp if you can show that there is a direct connection between your work and that condition. For example, if you are in an accident while operating heavy machinery and develop PTSD, you can file a case. You also qualify for workers’ comp if you develop depression over the course of months or years due to your working conditions. Any mental health condition that has been diagnosed by a professional medical expert and can be traced back to your employment can serve as the basis of a workers’ comp claim.

The Difficulty of Proof

However, unlike physical injuries, it is often much harder to prove that your mental health condition is the result of your work, especially when your condition occurred over a period of time. It may be obvious to connect PTSD to an event, but with anxiety or depression, it’s not always as simple to make the connection to your job. You will need to be able to show that stress, your work environment, or other conditions directly led to the mental health disorder you’re experiencing.

While you may have a mental health expert on your side, co-worker testimonials, and information on incidents and on your work environment, it can still be difficult to prove. Unfortunately, the burden of proof is on you as the claimant, so you will need to be prepared for a difficult battle. This is why it’s important to begin documenting events, visiting with a mental health expert, and talking to your employer about how to change the situation for the better.

If you do decide you need to file a workers’ comp claim for a mental health condition, don’t be too discouraged. It will likely be a hard fight, but many people do win. If you have experts like the team at Maximum Orthopedics on your side, it will be easier. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.

  • Posted on: Dec 15 2020
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When Should You Stop Taking Over-the-Counter Medication?

Most people turn to over-the-counter pain relievers and other medication at the first sign of pain. In many cases, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen is enough to deal with minor aches, pains, and inflammation. However, these over-the-counter medications are far from a cure-all, and they are not meant to manage pain long-term or even more than the very short-term. Here are signs that you need to stop taking these medications and seek medical attention for your condition or to manage your pain.

The Pain Gets Worse

If your pain continues at the same level or gets progressively worse over the course of several days, your first instinct may be to take more over-the-counter medication. However, this can be dangerous, especially if you take more than the recommended dose. Worsening pain is a sign that you have an injury that is not healing on its own or other condition that is going to require something more than temporary pain relief.

The Pain Continues for More than a Few Days

If taking medication doesn’t make the pain go away, even if it lessens, you should seek medical attention. Pain is the body’s way of alerting you that something is not right, and if that pain is continuing, it means the problem is still there. You may need physical therapy, surgery, or other treatment before you will be pain-free. In some cases, you may be dealing with chronic pain. If that’s the case, you will need ways of managing the pain that does not rely on over-the-counter medications.

You Begin Experiencing Additional Pain or Symptoms

If you start experiencing pain in other parts of your body or symptoms such as vomiting blood or having issues breathing, you need to stop taking the over-the-counter medication and get help. Some of these symptoms could be signs that you have taken too much of the medication or that it’s interacting with other medications you take. In some cases, over-the-counter medication could make a condition worse. You may not even know you have this condition until symptoms appear.

Need help treating your chronic pain or diagnosing the cause of it? Contact Maximum Orthopedics today to schedule an appointment.

  • Posted on: Nov 25 2020
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How Does Workers’ Comp for Carpal Tunnel Work?

If you have developed a pain in your wrist and hand that continues for more than several days, it could be carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition occurs by overworking the wrists, and those who work on the computer or who have jobs that require them to make repetitive hand movements often develop it. Early on, you can treat carpal tunnel by wearing a wrist brace, taking over-the-counter medication, and changing your work habits. However, many people find that they need surgery to truly alleviate the pain. The good news is that workers’ comp does cover carpal tunnel if you can show that you developed it on the job.

The Process of Applying for Workers’ Comp for Carpal Tunnel

When you first believe you may be suffering from carpal tunnel, you should notify your employer. Let them know even if you don’t have an official diagnosis yet because it’s important to document the entire process. You will need to let them know when you first began experiencing symptoms, too. After that is done, you will need to have the condition officially diagnosed and submit the appropriate paperwork to begin the workers’ comp process.

What Can Make the Process More Difficult?

Your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company is going to want to deny your claim, as they typically want to deny as many claims as possible to save them money. For carpal tunnel, this means they will be looking for anything they can use to show that your condition developed as the result of something you did outside of work. You will want to talk to your doctor about these activities and ask them what the likely primary cause of your carpal tunnel is.

The good news is that it’s often easy to see that work is that main cause because you engage in work-related activities 40 hours a week. It’s not likely that you do anything else as often. However, don’t hide any hobbies or other activities you do. If it comes out that you were attempting to hide activities that many have impacted your workers’ comp claim, it can result in your claim being dismissed.

Another way of making your claim pass through the system more quickly is to have an experienced workers’ comp doctor on your side. The team at Maximum Orthopedics has years of working with employees, and we can help you, too. Contact us today for a free consultation.

  • Posted on: Nov 15 2020
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Common Ways of Treating Neck Pain

Feeling pain in your neck? It’s not uncommon, but fortunately, many cases of neck pain are only temporary and will go away on their own as long as you don’t do anything to prolong the issue. Neck pain is often causes by inflammation, injury, overuse, or even poor posture. If your neck is hurting, here are a few things you can do to help relieve that pain.

Rest

In many cases, simply resting your neck is enough to make you feel better. You may have turned too quickly, bent your head at an odd angle, or have been starring downwards or upwards for too long. Resting your neck by placing your head in a neutral position for an hour or two should be all it takes. Make sure you’re using a pillow that doesn’t position your head at an awkward angle. If you frequently have a sore neck, you may want to look at a neck pillow that is designed to keep your head, neck, and back in alignment while you sleep.

Make certain you avoid moving your neck in any way that can cause additional pain. Avoid jerking your neck to one side or holding your head in any way that causes additional pain.

Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

You may also want to try over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen. However, if you have to use these for more than a few days, you need to visit a doctor or chiropractor. It’s not common for neck pain to last that long.

Use Ice, then Heat

Using ice and heat is another proven way of reducing neck pain. Use ice for up to three days, then switch to heat. Again, if you have to use this treatment often or for long periods of time, you’re dealing with something more than a normal sore neck.

Get a Massage

Having someone massage your neck and upper back can also help. However, make certain to stop them if anything feels wrong or hurts more than a sore muscle should.

If your neck continues hurting for more than a few days, if the pain gets worse, or if you have repetitive neck pain, you need to seek out medical attention. The team here at Maximum Orthopedics can help. Contact us today to discuss your case.

  • Posted on: Oct 23 2020
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What Is a Pulled Muscle?

A strained or pulled muscle can be painful, especially if you don’t take the time to rest the muscle and allow it to heal. You can pull a muscle whenever you do something that overworks or tears the muscle or tendon. A pulled muscle can happen at any time without any kind of warning. It’s something that can also affect everyone regardless of age, health, or overall level of fitness.

Common Causes of a Pulled Muscle

There are many things that can cause a pulled muscle, Lifting something heavy or lifting something using your back instead of your legs can easily strain a muscle in your back. Failing to warm up or stretching before and after you work out can also put undue strain on a muscle. Having poor posture is another common cause.

Pulled Muscle Symptoms

You may have a pulled muscle if you feel weakness or pain when using that muscle. You may notice swelling, bruising, or some redness around that area, too. Even when you’re resting, the muscle may hurt. In extreme cases, you may even find that it’s hard to use the muscle that has been strained. You may not be able to continue working after pulling a muscle and, in fact, you shouldn’t continue what you were doing because you could strain the muscle even more.

Treating a Pulled Muscle

In many cases, a pulled muscle will heal on its own with some rest, but you can help manage the pain and reduce the time it takes to heal. You can take anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen to help with the pain. You can apply ice for 20 minutes per hour to the muscle, too, in order to get the inflammation down. After three days, you can change the ice out for a heating pad. You can wrap the muscle using a compression or elastic band to provide support and reduce swelling, but you do need to be careful. If you wrap it too tight, you’ll reduce circulation. That will affect how quickly the muscle is able to heal.

Do You Need Medical Attention?

If you are in significant pain, are unable to walk, or are experiencing major inflammation, you need to come see us here at Maximum Orthopedics right away. Your strained muscle may be more problematic than normal. Contact us today to make an appointment.

  • Posted on: Oct 15 2020
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Common Workers’ Comp Questions

Have you been injured at work? If you have, you may be thinking about applying for workers’ comp. You may, though, have some questions about what workers’ comp is and what it covers. Here are the answers to some of these common questions.

Do I Qualify for Workers’ Comp?

It can be difficult to provide a standard answer for this without knowing the circumstances surrounding your injury. However, typically, you qualify for workers’ compensation if you were injured while performing actions related to your job. This includes being in your workplace, being away from your workplace while engaged in something for your business, and potentially even while working from home.

How Long Does it Take to Receive Compensation?

Again, this depends on how long it takes for the workers’ comp insurance investigation and approval. You need to file your claim as soon as you can because there is a time limit. While there are some deadlines insurance companies must follow, there are some things you can do to speed up the process. Make certain you file all of the paperwork as quickly as possible and that you include all of the documentation asked for. The more cooperative you are, the easier the process will be.

Will I Be Paid While I Recover?

Yes, you should receive some compensation while you are unable to work. In some cases, this is your full salary. In others, it’s a percentage of your salary. It depends on what insurance company your employer is working with, although most states do require workers’ comp to cover at least 66% of your salary.

Should I Pay Any Medical Bills I receive?

If you receive any medical bills in between filing your workers’ comp case and having it approved, you should let the billing department know that you have a pending case. Forward these bills to your employer or to their workers’ comp insurance representative when your case is approved.

Should I See a Specialist?

Absolutely. If you’ve been injured while at work, you may go to your primary care doctor for treatment. However, you should also visit with a doctor who specializes in workers’ comp claims and benefits. The team here at Maximum Orthopedics has years of experiencing helping those who have been injured on the job. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

  • Posted on: Sep 30 2020
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The Dangers of Managing Chronic Pain with Medication

If you have chronic pain from an injury, arthritis, or other condition, you have likely been given medication for it at some point. While medication can help short-term, using it to manage your chronic pain carries with it a number of dangers that you need to be aware of.

You Can Become Addicted

If you take anything stronger than over-the-counter medications, you may run the risk of becoming an addict. It’s even possible to become mentally addicted to something like ibuprofen. You may come to believe that you can’t go about your day unless you’ve taken your medication, so even if you don’t have a physical dependence on the drug, you are still dealing with a type of dependence. Breaking this mental dependency can be very difficult.

It’s Masking the Pain, Not Addressing the Cause

Medication is a short-term solution because it does nothing to actually address the cause of your pain. This means it will never make the pain go away permanently. All it does is mask the pain for short periods of time, forcing you to take the medication regularly to keep that pain from impacting your life.

You May Develop a Tolerance

Your body can build up a tolerance to the pain medication over time, forcing you to take more and more of it at once to get the same effects. At some point, you may reach the limits of how much pain medication you can safely take within a 24-hour period. If you reach that point, you may find that you have to deal with the pain for part of the day because you cannot take any more medication right away.

There Are Side Effects

Pain medication often has a number of side effects, even over-the-counter medications. If you take this medication long-term or take too much of it at once, it can damage parts of your body or lead to other medical conditions.  For example, acetaminophen, the active ingredient in many over-the-counter brand name medications, can lead to liver damage if you take more than is recommended within a certain time period or if you take it with alcohol.

We Provide Other Pain Management Methods

If you want to avoid taking medication to manage your chronic pain, we can help. We can diagnose your condition and determine if options such as chiropractic care, physical therapy, or orthopedic surgery are right for you. Contact Maximum Orthopedics today to schedule an appointment.

  • Posted on: Sep 15 2020
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