Work Conditioning and the Returning Worker

Injured workers will want to return to work as soon as possible, such as a month after rehabilitation. Savvy employers, however, will require these workers to undergo a work conditioning program conducted by Healthpointe professionals at any of their clinics (such as the Ontario clinic near Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Montclair, and Chino areas).

The work conditioning program is crucial in ensuring that the injured workers are fully ready to return to their duties. At the completion of the program, they should be able to quickly, safely and effectively return to full duty.

Work conditioning refers to the process of using conditioning and strengthening tasks to restore full physical and mental function to the injured workers, as preparation for their return to work. Each work conditioning program is usually personalized to the needs and wants of the injured workers and their employer.

During the initial evaluation, the work conditioning coach will gather current functional data and baseline information about each of the injured worker’s physical abilities. The workers’ progress and improvement can then be easily monitored by comparing these baseline numbers with their current numbers. The coach will also perform several tests to determine manual material handling, grip function, and metabolic equivalence test, among others.

In testing manual material handling, a worker will be instructed to lift and carry boxes around the facility. With each lift and carry session, more weight is added to the boxes. The coach will then observe each performance to determine the worker’s present baseline for safe limits in manual load handling.

In testing positional tolerance, a worker will be asked to assume a specific position (e.g., reaching above the shoulders or bending at the waist) while performing a work related-task. The coach will then look for signs of physical discomfort and measure the period in which the worker can hold the position.

In a metabolic equivalence test, a worker wears a heart rate monitor before being asked to step up and down a stair-like device; the movements should be in step with the beats of a metronome. The worker’s heart rate will be measured twice – first after three minutes of stepping up and down; and second after the step height has been raised and the worker has stepped up and down for another three minutes.

When the injured workers have met the standards for these tests, then they may be allowed to return to work provided that other requirements have been met.

Are you looking for a work conditioning program? Contact any of the Healthpointe clinics today (such as the one at Los Angeles near Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Inglewood, Hawthorne, Huntington Park, South Gate, Lynwood, Montebello, Monterey Park, and Alhambra).

About Healthpointe:

Healthpointe is a leading multidisciplinary healthcare organization offering a full range of medical services in practice locations throughout Southern California (Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County). Healthpointe has locations situated in over 10 cities in Southern California including Los Angeles, which is conveniently located by Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Inglewood, Hawthorne, Huntington Park, South Gate, Lynwood, Montebello, Monterey Park, and Alhambra. As a highly regarded musculoskeletal group, we have a personal investment in the highest level of service, and we are proud of our record of excellence over the last four decades with private patients, injured workers, urgent care, personal injuries, and professional and non-professional athletes. Leading our organization is a dynamic team of healthcare professionals who continually strive to be at the forefront of medical innovation and healthcare service delivery. For more information, a complete list of services, and Healthpointe locations, visit Healthpointe.net.

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