Work rehabilitation, or occupational medicine, is intended to help an individual overcome physical barriers that are preventing him or her from returning to functional employment. Work rehabilitation and physical therapy go hand-in-hand and can be beneficial to anyone who is experiencing work-related difficulties due to an orthopedic condition or injury. The experienced therapists at Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston work closely with each patient to help him or her achieve maximum physical function, return to work safely and prevent further injuries.
Through extensive education and training, the physical therapy practitioners at Advanced Orthopaedics have acquired the skills necessary to evaluate a worker’s capabilities, task performance and work environment. As part of our evaluation, we consider other contexts and environments that may support or hinder the individual’s ability to work, such as access to transportation and the ability to bathe and dress. We also review the history of the current orthopedic condition or injury and consider any potential changes in the condition that may occur over time. Based on the results of this thorough analysis, we can then recommend appropriate work rehabilitation therapies to compensate for any gaps between the demands of a job and the worker’s abilities.
More specifically, work rehabilitation may involve:
- Work conditioning – A worker’s physical capacity can be improved through work simulation, as well as targeted stretches and exercises designed to enhance the worker’s strength, flexibility, endurance and range of motion.
- Work hardening – This multidisciplinary approach may involve counseling, ergonomic improvements, job coaching and transitional work services. A worker may progress to transitional work programming by actually performing job duties at his or her place of employment.
- Functional capacity evaluation (FCE) – Utilizing standardized testing protocols, an occupational therapist can identify safe job matches for an individual’s return to work or determine the reasonable accommodations necessary to reinstate the worker.
- Workplace modifications – An occupational therapist can recommend environmental adjustments to facilitate a worker’s successful job performance. Some examples including changing the layout of the workspace, modifying work-related tools and minimizing distractions.
The physical therapists at Advanced Orthopaedics are distinctly qualified to provide work rehabilitation services due to their in-depth understanding of the complex and dynamic relationship between a person and his or her occupation and environment. Our recommendations are fully tailored to the needs of the worker to ensure successful job performance.
If you’d like to learn more about the work rehabilitation services available at Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, TX, contact us today. We can work with you to develop a structured and goal-oriented program to help you regain your functional skills and ultimately return to work.