Will Workers’ Comp Cover Dry Needling as Part of Your Physical Therapy Treatment?

Work-related accidents often result in musculoskeletal injuries. Falls can cause broken bones and soft tissue injuries, while work involving repetitive motions can cause carpal tunnel syndrome and other conditions. These injuries are often treated with physical therapy. When applying for workers’ comp benefits for physical therapy, you may be denied complete coverage. This is because the treatments used by physical therapists are sometimes questioned by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). One treatment that may complicate your claim is dry needling.

What Is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a treatment technique used in manual physical therapy. A physical therapist trained in the technique will insert a thin needle through the skin into myofascial trigger points, muscular tissue, or connective tissue. The needle can create a local twitch response which may cause the muscle first to contract and then to relax, easing pain and discomfort. Dry needling may also increase blood flow and alter nerve responses. These reactions can cause an immediate reduction in pain and an increased range of motion.

Dry needling may be recommended if you suffer musculoskeletal pain from an acute or gradual onset workplace injury. Warehouse workers at Walmart, Amazon, and UPS are especially at risk for back, shoulder, and hip injuries, but anyone who lifts heavy items at work can be affected.

What to Do If Dry Needling Treatments Are Recommended for You

The dry needling technique is sometimes considered an alternative form of treatment and its approval can meet with resistance. However, it is a treatment recognized by the American Physical Therapy Association and its practice is permitted in Ohio, so if it is recommended by your physical therapist as part of your recovery plan, it should be covered by workers’ comp. However, the BWC often denies coverage or limits the number of PT sessions you can undergo. Don’t let this denial keep you from getting the treatment you need. Instead, contact attorney Jim Monast to help you secure the compelling medical evidence you will need to present to the BWC.

To learn more about your rights and about how to get the treatment recommended by your care providers, please read our free book, The Worker’s Guide to Injury Compensation in Ohio, and contact us today to discuss your legal options.

James Monast
Fighting for Ohio’s Injured Workers and their Families
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