WC 101: Introduction to Work Conditioning

Although work conditioning is commonly mistaken as a continuation of physical therapy, it is actually a separate entity. Work conditioning by definition is an intensive goal-oriented treatment program that is structured to allow injured workers to regain their strength, endurance, and confidence in order to return to work. Patients are usually referred to an outpatient therapy clinic immediately after surgery for a few days per week at 30-minute to hour-long sessions. At the end of the visits, the patients will have improved their strength and flexibility but may still not meet the physical demands of their regular jobs. For example, a patient with a knee injury may learn to walk without assistance, but it does not necessarily mean that he has the strength to lift a keg or the balance to maneuver sheets of drywall.

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