Q41 - Therapeutic Exercise

Question: 

An employee alleges shoulder pain after struggling with a stuck valve at work. At a clinic, the doctor diagnoses the employee with a small rotator cuff tear. The doctor opines that the tear does not require surgery and discusses a return to work with the employee. The employee obliges as he does not want to miss work or deal with a surgery if unnecessary. The doctor goes on to show the employee how to take care of the injury by demonstrating a series of stretching exercises, encourages nonprescription hot and cold compress treatment, positions to avoid, and prescribes over the counter naproxen to be taken as directed on the packaging. The employee is given the rest of the day off work and returns to work at full duty the next shift.  A follow up visit is scheduled in one week. Is it recordable?

Answer:

YES. Although the employee was not given any prescription strength medication, was returned to full duty and OSHA does not have any language noting recordable requirement for ligament and/or tendon tears, there is an interpretation letter for therapeutic exercise post injury. 

Letter of Interpretation: "Therapeutic exercise is considered medical treatment when it is designed and administered to combat a particular injury, illness, or disorder as part of a treatment plan that includes termination of the therapeutic exercise once the objectives of its implementation have been met."

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