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Work Conditioning / Hardening

Work Conditioning / Hardening

What is Work Conditioning? Work conditioning is an individualized rehabilitation program designed to prepare the injured worker to return to work. Workers’ rehabilitation programs are based on their limitations and the demands of their specific occupation. The program typically consists of strength, conditioning, and flexibility exercises as well as some work simulated activities. Work conditioners participate in this program 3-5 days per week for 1-2 hours each day. Additionally, they may be asked to do some home exercises.

What is Work Hardening? Work hardening is an intensive work-related, goal oriented program designed to prepare an injured worker to return to a specific job. The program is usually 5 days per week beginning at 4 hours per day and increasing to 8 hours per day over the course of 4 weeks. For the worker, attending work hardening is like attending their job. They will do some exercises but much of their time is spent doing work simulated activities, specifically to restore strength, endurance, range of motion, aerobic capacity, and musculoskeletal function. Additionally, proper movement patterns, body mechanics, and positioning strategies are taught and practiced by the worker.

What are my responsibilities as a Work Conditioning / Work Hardening patient?

Give your best efforts to the program
Follow the program prescribed by your physical therapist in the clinic and at home
Attend all of your visits regularly
Keep discussion open with your physical therapist about what is working and where you are having difficulty
What are the goals of Work Conditioning / Work Hardening programs?

Prepare the injured worker for their return to gainful employment as safely and efficiently as possible. This goal is achieved through direct communication with the patient, referring physicians, vocational rehabilitation counselors, case managers, and insurance adjusters. We will ensure that all parties are working toward the goal of case resolution.

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