Injured Worker Program

Injured Worker Program

Our goal is to help the injured worker return back to work as soon as possible either at a light duty or at no restrictions. We communicate closely with the referring physician to give them regular updates on the status of the patient and perform Functional Progress Notes that document the injury specific and job specific activity status of the patient. Close communication between the patient, physician, case manager, and often the employer, are crucial to the success of this program and quick recovery of the patient.
The injured worker program consists of the following:

Regular Post Injury Physical Therapy

Designed to reduce the inflammation and pain, stretch and strengthen the affected areas and educate the patient on correct posture, body mechanics, ergonomics and self management of their pain. Modalities are used as necessary such as Electrical Stimulation, Ultrasound, Heat / Ice etc. Crucial to their early recovery is the management of the patient’s posture and techniques to reduce repetitive stress injuries. If the patient is still having trouble returning back to their level of work, then they may be advanced to Work Hardening / Work Conditioning as appropriate or a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) may be performed to determine if they are able to return back to the same level of activity.

Work Hardening / Work Conditioning Program

Is a specialized program consisting of specific job simulated activities for the injured patient to be able to return back to the same level of work they were doing before their injury. This is specifically customized to the patient’s particular job and the therapist ensures that the patient is able to do the same level of activity safely and without pain thereby reducing the chances of re-injury upon returning back to work. The level and intensity of the activity is gradually increased until the patient is safely performing or exceeding his required tasks. This program gives the injured worker the best chance to return back to their heavy workload especially if they are still not able to return back to work after regular physical therapy.

Work hardening and work conditioning are terms used synonymously but generally if the patient is performing the therapy activities over 3-4 hours then it is considered work hardening.

Functional Capacity Evaluations

These are extensive tests performed to determine the ability of an injured worker to safely return back to the previous job at the same level of performance required. These tests help determine if permanent restrictions are needed or if the injured worker can safely resume his previous position without any restrictions. The patient’s job description is important prior to starting this test in order for the therapist to carefully understand the activities required for the injured worker at his job site and to design the appropriate test. Functional abilities required in all activities are considered including lifting, bending, pushing, pulling, kneeling, crawling, sitting, standing, balance activities and job specific tasks.