Here at On the Mend Physical Therapy we work closely with employers; and, are referred by occupational medicine practitioners to help get injured workers back on the job.
Here are the employer services we provide:
- Workers Compensation (WC) for Injured Workers
- Getting Employees Back to Work
- Work Conditioning & Work Hardening
- Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE)
On the Mend Physical Therapy offers rehabilitation services and we accept workers’ compensation (WC) insurance.
Workers whose jobs require physical exertion are prone to a variety of musculoskeletal injuries, from tendon inflammations and nerve compression disorders to sprains and strains. These issues fall under the general umbrella of cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs). Upper-extremity CTDs are especially common among laborers and often result from repetitive arm, shoulder, hand, and wrist movements. Awkward body positions and high-force grip and pinch motions also contribute to the development of these issues.
Workplace injuries are detrimental to not only employees, but also employers. After all, if someone in a critical job role is unable to work for a long period of time, it can result in decreased output and lost revenue. On the employee side, the inability to work a regular schedule can lead to financial strain, stress and frustration, and an overall reduced quality of life.
Luckily, physical therapists can help expedite the process of rehabilitating work-related injuries and thus, get employees back on the job as quickly as possible.
A care plan for a patient with a work-related injury will include:
- Identification of critical job-related tasks;
- Assessment of musculoskeletal injury risk factors; and
- Prescription of therapy modalities and exercises targeted to the patient’s unique needs.
The therapist will work with each individual patient to set goals for therapy, but generally speaking, work rehabilitation goals include:
- Maximizing the patient’s function in his or her role;
- Getting patients back to work safely and efficiently;
- Preventing future injury; and
- Instilling a sense of confidence and optimism throughout the rehabilitation process and monitoring for any negative psychological effects of being unable to work for an extended period of time (and working with members of the patient’s extended care team to ensure any identified needs are met).
Specific aspects of a work rehabilitation plan of care include:
Work conditioning: This systematic approach to restoring a worker’s ability to perform in his or her job role focuses on conditioning of the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems, particularly with respect to the physical demands of the employee’s specific job role. This usually involves work simulation and one-on-one treatment time three to five days a week for up to four hours per session.
Work hardening: Similar to work conditioning, this more comprehensive approach may incorporate additional treatments or disciplines, including psychological counseling, job coaching, transitional services, and ergonomic evaluations. It also tends to be more intensive, with treatment delivered five days per week for four or more hours per day.
Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE): This approach involves the use of standardized, evidence-based testing to determine the conditions and accommodations necessary for the injured employee to return to work. The therapist will use the test results to make treatment and/or prevention recommendations. Results may also inform the determination of a disability rating for insurance purposes.
Therapists specializing in work rehabilitation can also collaborate with employers to identify environmental risks or areas for concern and make recommendations for workplace modifications that may help the employee return to his or her role more safely and effectively. The therapist also may continue evaluating the situation and making additional recommendations after the worker returns to the job—until the therapist determines that the injured worker has fully rehabilitated.