Industrial rehabilitation is a service that provides a structured and goal oriented program designed to help people regain functional skills, identify work capacities and return to work after injury.
The individualized treatment programs are designed by physical and/or occupational therapists. The program generally consists of stretching and strengthening exercises, and cardiovascular and musculoskeletal conditioning programs. In addition, education is provided on injury prevention, body mechanics, posture and pain control strategies.
The individual work capacities are determined through evaluations called functional capacity evaluations. These evaluations are typically 2-3 hour evaluations designed to determine a person's ability to safely function in a work environment, reducing the risk of re-injury.
Strength, flexibility and capacity to perform work tasks such as lifting, carrying, typing, computer work, kneeling and squatting are assessed.
In this way the client and industrial rehabilitation team can determine an individual's current abilities and develop an appropriate treatment plan to facilitate safe return to work.
In certain circumstances it is often necessary to perform work site evaluations. A therapist will go directly to the place of employment and observe the worker performing his/her job duties. This allows the therapist to identify any potential job hazards and offer suggestions to help the person perform his/her job more comfortably and easily. Workstation modifications for improved ergonomics and safety will be recommended as needed.