Work Conditioning provides a transition between acute care and return to work while addressing issues of productivity, safety, work behaviors and physical tolerances. MOH WPC’s program incorporates simulation of work tasks that are graded to progressively improve a client’s abilities in the work environment. The simulation is specific to each job title and whenever possible, the client uses the actual equipment which would be handled at their individual job sites. The program also incorporates flexibility and strengthening exercises, aerobic and cardiovascular conditioning, and significant education including nutrition, relaxation and body mechanics to encourage healthy lifestyle changes.
In order for a patient to be an appropriate candidate for work conditioning, they must not be pain focused. This is not to say they should be pain free, however, if pain limits a patient from attempting exercise or increasing weights other treatment options may be better suited for this type of patient. The ideal time of referral should occur one to two months post injury, following the acute phase of treatment, though we have seen patients who are a year post injury or more due to surgery, pain, etc. Further, the patient’s primary goal should be work focused (i.e. return to work with or without restrictions). Options exist to initiate light duty work in conjunction with work conditioning or to participate solely in work conditioning until the patient can return to their previous position with no restrictions.
The Occupational Therapists involved in MOH WPC’s Work Conditioning Program have extensive training in prevention and treatments of work related injuries and are knowledgeable in determining the correct pathway for a patient’s treatment. For example, would the patient benefit from daily visits or are they in need of a home exercise program only, or does the patient exhibit non-organic signs or symptom magnification behavior. Using our standardized evaluation protocols, decisions of this nature are made and communicated in a clear, objective manner.
Work Conditioning typically has a duration of four to eight weeks in length due to the complexity and depth of the program. An initial evaluation containing treatment goals, methods and current status is completed and a program length and frequency are established. Session lengths can vary between two and eight hours for three to five times per week, depending on patient need. Re-evaluations occur every four weeks allowing for a precise determination of the exact point of readiness for a return to work.
To learn more or to schedule an exam, please call us at 651-968-5300 or contact us here.