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NFL players struggle to find doctors who accept workers’ comp

The NFL lockout has posed numerous problems for football players and their families, including the teams in Ohio. Whether you support the Browns or the Bengals, you may already be feeling the impact of the lockout.

Because of the lockout, players are forbidden from talking with NFL coaches or trainers, and they are not allowed to use any of their training facilities. At a basic level, the lockout may impact the quality of the games when the season starts.

For the players, however, there are numerous other concerns. The players are receiving workers’ compensation to pay for their injuries. However, because the players are not allowed to work with their regular trainers, many players have been left searching for physical therapists that will accept their workers’ compensation money and still provide a high quality level of service.

Professional athletes rely on their bodies to perform their jobs, so it is critical to work with top-of-the-line trainers. A spokesperson for the NFL Players Associations said that players are on their own for finding quality medical care. That has proved frustrating for many players, especially since the medical care they receive may not be as good as the care they would receive from their teams. The spokesman said, “Not to take anything against the trainers helping these players out, but it’s just not the same.”

We may be tempted to think of professional athletes as being in a league of their own. In reality, the struggles NFL players are facing mirrors the concerns many workers have when they suffer on-the-job injuries: the players must balance their physical recovery with finding appropriate medical treatment while also looking for care that is covered by their insurance.

Source: The Washington Post, “Injured NFL players must be creative when dealing with injuries during the lockout,” Mark Giannotto, 28 June 2011

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