Texas Workers’ Compensation: What is muscle guarding?

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When a Worker in Texas has a neck or back injury that is being handled through the Division of Workers’ Compensation, they will receive a Whole Body Impairment Rating.  To determine that Impairment Rating, the medical provider will typically use a DRE Category (Diagnosis Related Estimate) that best suits the claimant’s (injured worker) condition.

To avoid a DRE Category I, which means no impairment at all, there must be clinical findings of injury, observed or documented muscle guarding or documented neurological impairment.

Many cases deal with the observed or documented muscle guarding.  The Fourth Ed. of the AMA Guides to Permanent Impairment define Guarding under Table 71 Pg. 3/109 of the Guides as: paravertebral muscle guarding or spasm or nonuniform loss of range of motion, dysmetria, is present or has been documented by a physician.  Radicular components that follow anatomic pathways but cannot be verified by neurologic findings belong with this type of differentiator.

The Morris Firm, info@themorrisfirm.net (214)357-1782

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TEXAS WORKERS COMPENSATION INJURIES FROM THERAPY

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Many workers injured at work in Texas go through extensive physical therapy.  What happens when a patient is treating for a workers compensation injury and suffers another injury going through therapy?

In a Texas Workers’ Compensation claim, the injury is not limited to the conditions affected at the time of the injury.  But, includes any conditions naturally arising out of the compensable injury.  This includes medical treatment for the compensable injury which causes damage to the physical structure of the body.

If you are injured during physical therapy, or while receiving medical treatment for your compensable injury, your insurance carrier is liable for the treatment to relieve the effects of the injury.  Additionally, if this portion of your injury creates a permanent impairment, make sure it is included in your impairment rating.

If you have any questions about your workers compensation claim, contact the Dallas office of the Morris Law Firm at (214)357-1782 or via email at info@themorrisfirm.net.