Employers hire DORN Companies to address employee issues with a focus on addressing work-related pain to help reduce costly injuries. This information helps to ensure employees are getting the best and correct support for their needs, and also supports proper government reporting and any internal protocols you may have in place for workplace incidents. Some clients pre-define this category for DORN as they enroll employees into the program. This is an optimal practice that we encourage all clients to follow when scheduling new people. Otherwise, the responsibility is at the discretion of our Providers, who will try to indirectly categorize the nature of the pain or discomfort at the time of their first session. 


The difference between work-related versus work-affected pain can sometimes be difficult to determine. To help better explain the differences between these two categories, the following is a brief definition of each. 

Work-Related refers to pain or discomfort that the employee had NEVER experienced until they were performing their job duty or task.

For example: sprains or strains while onsite at work (i.e. stepping off a piece of machinery and twisting an ankle, hurting the lower back while moving a box).

Work-Affected refers to pain that does not originate from a specific work incident but rather has accumulated over a lifetime of stressors. Alternately, the tasks of the job increase the pain that the individual feels when performing daily activities (common in jobs that are repetitive in nature). 

For example, squeezing a staple gun repeatedly could cause pain to build up over time. 

If employers do not capture the relation up front, our Providers indirectly categorize using relational questions:

When incidents are considered work-related, and no indication is defined without our CMS scheduling tool, our Providers work with employees to: 

  1. Understand what caused the pain or discomfort
  2. Ensure they have reported it to their supervisor
  3. Report the case to the Provider’s site contact 

We want to provide the information needed to ensure proper channels are followed and maintain a pulse on the employee through their DORN sessions. It is important to understand that DORN Providers can continue to see employees over time and can almost always provide significant relief. We are in constant communication with each site, keeping local program mangers apprised of the progress made throughout the employee’s time in the program. If the problem is muscular, it is very unusual that no improvement is reported with our treatment. At times we are asked for this information when a claim has been filed so you can have all the information needed to manage the claim. Although we don’t keep SOAP notes, we note the area of concern and the pain level progression. 

We understand that each case is unique and individual attention is important. Taking the time to understand each employee’s discomfort helps our Providers understand how to best care for the employee, while also keeping the employer informed if issues need to be further addressed and monitored.

Work-related and work-affected are important to define. Again, we encourage that this relation be defined when scheduling, which also helps avoid making the employee uncomfortable by forcing them to explain what happened to the Provider. 

Please let us know if you would like to discuss further or if you need help in your process to better understand and capture this information.