Back to Work Programs
The work/industrial rehabilitation program helps in assessing the work capability of individuals, restore normal functional activities, and help to return to work quick following an injury. Rehabilitation program is as important as medical intervention however there exists lack of awareness of the importance and benefits of work rehabilitation following medical/surgical therapy.
Individual’s behavioural and vocational dysfunctions are made to undergo a process called as work hardening. This process determines flexibility, strength, coordination, and work-related functions for the global outcome of return to work. It helps in restoring joint movements, muscle strengths, aerobic capacity, blood circulation, ventilation, and respiration/gas exchange.
The work hardening procedures help you to
- Develop physical tolerance for work
- Learn safe work techniques
- Explore career options
- Regain flexibility, mobility, and strength through strengthening and stretching exercises
- Understand on body mechanics, correct postures to be practiced at work places, proper nutrition, pain control, and muscle tension reduction techniques
In addition to the work hardening technique another process known as functional capacity evaluations (FCE's) are also performed. The FCE helps to develop a person’s ability to work on the sensible tasks.
Functional capacity evaluations enable the physical therapist to determine:
- The individual’s ability to work on certain type of tasks
- Any safety measures required to prevent an injury
- Creating awareness in an individual about the physical deformities, limitations for work, and the impact of occupation on the deformities.
The assessments done for reporting FCE are
- Physical examination for history, palpation, sensory testing procedures, and other special tests
- Computerized hand tests for grip strength, reliability of effort, dexterity
- Computerized static lifting
- Functional testing for functional lifting work activities (squatting and bending), work postures (sit, stand, walk), cardiovascular testing, and job simulation
- Analysis for reliability of effort, recommendations and restrictions, and questionnaire outcomes
At times, occupational therapist may visit the work place which helps in better understanding of the potential hazards and modify treatment accordingly.