Work Hardening/Conditioning

Work Hardening/Conditioning Program

Physical Rehabilitation in Maryland, Virginia, and the D.C. Area

When an injured worker meets their established short/long term goals during physical or occupational therapy but are still unable to return to work they may benefit from a Work Hardening/Conditioning Program.  This program will help focus on the remaining functional deficits or de-conditioning; they may have due to their injury.  The injured worker may benefit from a higher level of therapeutic intervention designed specifically with the primary goal of returning to work.  These programs are full body intensive programs that focus on work simulation activities to get injured workers back to work.  Each program is designed specifically for the needs of the injured worker.  This is based upon their injury and their occupation or the next step in the return to work process.

What is the Work Hardening Program?

Work Hardening is a “highly structured, goal-oriented, individualized treatment program designed to return a person back to work.” This program addresses musculoskeletal exercises, functional activities, and worker performance.  The Work Hardening Program (WHP) utilizes real or stimulated work activities to restore physical, behavioral and vocational functions.

What is the Work Conditioning Program?

Work Conditioning is a “work related, intensive, goal-oriented treatment program designed to restore an individual systemic, neuromusculoskeletal (strength, endurance, movement, flexibility, and motor control) and cardiopulmonary functions.” Treatment involves exercises as well as functional tasks or activities.

Benefits of The Work Hardening/Conditioning Program

  •  Learn what activities you can accomplish safely
  • Practice proper body mechanics and posture
  • Increase your bodies tolerance for functional activities
  • Decrease stiffness and pain
  • Develop muscle strength and endurance
  • Improve your overall quality of life

Results Achieve

  • Return to work full time full duty
  • Return to work full time modified duty
  • Recommendation for job placement
  • Recommendation for further treatment
  • Recommendation for case closure

When to Refer

  • Evaluate current functional capabilities after injury, surgery or treatment
  • Provide job restrictions and/or job modification for return to work
  • Compare present functional capabilities to functional job description
  • Determine if musculoskeletal deficits effect functional abilities
  • Identify consistency of effort and/or worker trait issues
  • Assess symptom management and safety skills

REFer a patient