Work Hardening is a specialized program with a different focus from post-injury therapy. The focus is to get the worker in work shape to successfully return to their pre-injury job. The primary job functions are simulated in the clinic with indirect supervision from a physical therapist. This can be done in a group setting in which each patient is working on their job-specific tasks required to get them back to work. Work Hardening is an ideal way to get a recovered patient back to work while minimizing the potential of re-injury.
This is similar to work hardening but usually comes before. Work Conditioning is performed within the course of post-injury therapy and contains a certain work task being performed as a part of the routine therapy treatment. An example would be a carpenter who has a shoulder injury and spends 10 minutes of his therapy treatment hammering over his head.
- Communication with the client and/or employer to understand the return-to-word needs and requirements for the injured laborer
- Creation and execution of specific strength, endurance, and flexibility training programs to prepare the injured laborer to return to work