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Work conditioning is a program in the field of physical therapy with the goal of returning an employee back to work in a safe manner. The physical or occupational therapist will obtain the patient’s job description and work requirements and assess the physical deficits related to the patient’s injury. A program tailored to the injury and work requirements is then developed to return to the employee back to work with minimal risk of re-injury.
The emphasis is on prevention of future injury, teaching correct body mechanics and safe movement patterns. Programming is tailored toward improving flexibility, strength, and endurance required for successful return to work. At program completion, a comprehensive home exercise program is provided to ensure long term success. With progression of job simulation activities, the participants gain confidence in their ability to return to work as they apply their body mechanical changes in a meaningful way. Comprehensive patient education on pacing, stress management, back care and injury prevention is part of the program. The ultimate goal of a physical/occupational therapy work conditioning program is to progress the patient towards returning to full or modified duty.
- Strengthens muscles
- Increases endurance
- Job specific task training
- Educate proper mechanic
- Joint and muscle flexibility
- Ergonomic training
- Aerobic conditioning
Work Requirements to consider
- Kneeling for how long at a given time?
- Standing for how long at a given time?
- Walking for how long at a given time?
- Running for how long at a given time?
- Lifting floor to waist. How much weight and how many times an hour?
- Lifting waist to shoulder. How much weight and how many times an hour?
- Lifting shoulder to overhead. How much weight and how many times an hour?
- Squatting how many times a day?
- Stairs how many times a day?
- Ladder climbing. How many times a day?
- Reaching. How many times a day?
- How much weight do you push or pull?