Work conditioning differs from Work Rehab in three ways:
Work conditioning is an intensive rehabilitation approach designed to accelerate a patient’s return to work. It is best suited for injured workers trying to return to more physically demanding jobs. Programs are customized to optimally prepare an injured worker for the specific physical demands of a particular job. Most workers are treated one to two hours per day, three to five times a week, for two to four weeks. Job simulation activities are emphasized.
Work conditioning includes both physical and/or occupational therapists. Besides strengthening and conditioning of the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems, the worker is educated in proper body mechanics, ergonomics, and task-specific strategies to incorporate at work and at home.
Any patient who is unable to return to full-duty secondary to pain and/or functional limitations can benefit from a work conditioning program. Work conditioning may be initiated in the early stages of rehabilitation or after more traditional intervention fails to adequately prepare the patient for a successful return to the job.