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How To Get Yoga Approved CA Work Comp
#1
I read an article today from one of my favorite CA workers compensation bloggers that mentioned yoga. Yoga, as other physical therapies can be difficult to get authorized if your doctor is not well versed in medical treatment guidelines. This is unfortunate because these therapies can help a person return to work or improve function. Another benefit not mentioned in the guidelines is for those of us who wear yoga pants already, we now have a valid excuse.

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/DWCPropRegs/MT...elines.pdf

"Page 26 of MTUS chronic pain guidelines:
Recommended as an option only for select, highly motivated patients. There is considerable
evidence of efficacy for mind-body therapies such as yoga in the treatment of chronic pain.
Also, the impact on depression and disability could be considered as important outcomes for
further study. Since outcomes from this therapy are very dependent on a highly motivated
patient, we recommend approval where requested by a specific patient, but not adoption for use
by any patient. (Astin, 2003) (Barrows, 2002) (Galantino, 2004)"


Your doctor should not just quote the guideline as he needs to show your condition falls under this guideline and you are highly motivated. I have seen IMR decisions uphold a UR denial stating the patient has been off of work for a number of years and does not appear motivated. Nothing is worse when you are motivated to get better and return to work, to then receive a lame UR denial from a doctor you have never met state you "do not appear motivated". In my opinion ways to show you are "highly motivated" to receive Yoga classes would be for your doctor to state you are highly motivated and back that up by already doing home exercise and walking and also have tried yoga at home with a video or attended a free Yoga class. I would also mention all of the other treatments you have tried such as PT, iceing, message biofeedback etc.

I do not recommend yoga unless your doctor feels you could tolerate it. I do recommend trying a free class first and see if it is something you can tolerate after a doctors approval. The nice thing about yoga is you can modify the exercises and do not have to bend as far or do what others are doing if it is too much for you. 

The problem you may come across with yoga is that there are not any yoga facilities who deal with workers compensation, and you may need to pay up front and request reimbursement from your claims adjuster. This is something that needs approval in advance.
I am not an attorney.Anything I write should not be considered legal advice.I am writing from my own personal experiences,which is not from any sort of legal background. You should consult with an attorney over legal issues. In California, if you cannot get an attorney you can consult with an I&A officer.
 
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