Injured worker wants ‘maintenance’ massage

Doctor suggested massage could relieve symptoms of shoulder condition
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 11/02/2011

This instalment of You Make the Call involves an injured worker's request for continued benefit coverage for “maintenance” massage therapy and chiropractic services, and the decision that followed.

The Ontario worker was left with permanent impairment to her right shoulder and neck as a result of a workplace accident in 1995. She received a 6 per cent non-economic loss benefit in 2000, an award that was bumped up to 22 per cent in 2006 for chronic pain disability. She was also receiving benefits for an injury to her lower back under a different claim.

The worker was diagnosed with “early osteoarthritic changes about her right shoulder” as well as cervical dysfunction and “myofascial pain causing her symptoms.” Her doctors recommended on-going chiropractic care and massage therapy to relieve her pain and reduce her intake of pain medication.