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What Have You Got To Lose

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At first it was just a small ache in the right lower back, but the pain kept coming back with all the lifting Greg was doing at work. And it was getting worse. Greg didn’t want to miss work, so he just kept going, and the pain kept coming. You might imagine an athlete or performer would do the same thing to avoid being benched. They don’t want to let their teammates down. Lots of people ignore what their body is saying, even screaming, at them.  Auto DraftWhy?

Although there have been big improvements in the culture around sports, performing arts, and worker’s comp, some people still have the old “grin and bear it” attitude. They imagine they can just work through the pain. To some people, reporting an injury is an act of weakness, or a way of letting their team down.
External pressure from supervisors, colleagues, coaches, or teammates, can also make it hard to admit that you hurt. Your network of supporters want you to keep playing or working.
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Workers who get hurt on the job fear loss of pay, or a demotion. They might worry that their replacement will outshine them and take their place. They have bills to pay and commitments to meet and besides, the idea of reporting an injury is counter to their work ethic.
These reasons make some sense, but they’re shortsighted. Finishing a game or working one more shift is never worth jeopardizing your long term health. After all, hiding a minor injury can turn it into a major one.

Research shows that if you treat an injury soon after it happens, the outcomes are better.* The first 14 days after onset of low back pain are critical. Seeing a physical therapist soon after an injury is associated with reduced opioid use, lower need for advanced imaging such as MRI, and reduced risk for injections and surgery. Finally, it has been linked with reduced length of disability and reduced use of workers compensation benefits.

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It’s never a sign of weakness to report an injury and you’re not letting your teammates, or coworkers down. If you’re not at your best, you owe it to the people counting on you to let them know. Then get the help you need to recover.

ALTA Physical Therapy & Pilates is now in network with Pinnacol Assurance for Worker’s Compensation. If you or someone you know has been injured at work, we are here to help.

*The Timing of Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain: Does It Matter in Workers’ Compensation? Dongchun Wang, Kathryn Mueller, and Randy Lea. September 2020. WC-20-25.


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