In the past, soft tissue injuries, which are the root causes of many workers’ compensation claims, could be very difficult to clearly diagnose and document. Now, a new technology called an EFA test is, in a sense, allowing doctors to “see” a patient’s pain in ways they never could before. This, in turn, is enabling injured workers to receive not only better care but more timely and thorough care for their injuries.
What Is An EFA Test?
An EFA test is used for diagnosing soft tissue injuries i.e. muscle strains, neck strains, rotator cuff tears, back pain etc. It is a combination of advance electromyography (EMG) technology (used to evaluate the health of muscles and nerve cells), range of motion tests, and functional assessment tests all rolled up into one non-loading, non-invasive test that allows a doctor to see which muscles are reacting to pain.
The system can differentiate between normal movement and pain because when a person gets hurt, the body responds with specific muscle activity. Whenever there is an acute injury, there will be muscle spasms. The test is able to detect these spasms and determine their origins.
How Is An EFA Test Conducted
An EFA test is like an EKG for your muscles. Little pads are placed on the muscle groups in question and the patient is put through a series of range of motion movements with rest in between. The test monitors how the muscles function at rest, when being used, and in combination with other muscle groups. The data collected is then used to determine how the muscles are functioning i.e. if they are functioning appropriately and how much fatigue there is when the patient returns to rest.
What Are The Benefits of Undergoing An EFA Test
Undergoing an EFA test offers the following benefits to an injured worker:
- He or she can find out where pain is emanating from much quicker;
- What exacerbates the pain;
- What medication can be taken to alleviate the pain; and
- What physical therapy will help you to rehabilitate faster
An EFA test is a very specific approach to diagnosing soft tissue injuries, which helps an injured worker return to work quicker and healthier than diagnostic approaches that are broader in scope and that rely on a lot of guesswork.
How Are EFA Test Being Received?
While injured workers are generally not hesitant to undergo an EFA test, there has been a lack of appropriate information about the test provide to them. However, the EFA test has proven to be a better test for diagnosing hard to determine injuries such as back pain. It gets injured workers the right treatment better and faster, which in turn enable them to return work and an active life sooner.
Researchers are currently working to refine EFA technology to pick up much more information about a patient’s muscles and to inevitably have a home EFA tests than can be associated with physical therapy in order to monitor a worker’s progress toward rehabilitation and compliance with therapy recommendations.
Contact a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney
For more specific information regarding EFA tests, speak with your employer or your workers’ compensation doctor. If you are having trouble receiving the benefits you are entitled to receive under workers’ compensation in New Jersey, contact an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney.