What is Work Conditioning and Why Do I Need It?

Accidents happen, whether they’re at home or at work. When you get hurt on the job, the last thing on your mind is getting back to work. You want to relieve your pain and heal. However, depending on your injury, healing time and getting “back to normal” will vary.

If you’ve suffered from a fall at work, for example, the result may be a sprain, dislocated shoulder, broken bones, head injury, hip fracture, or spinal injury. Obviously, no two injuries are the same, and the same goes with their respective treatment plans. One thing for sure is that you’ll want to be able to move and work as freely as you did before your injury.

You’ve heard about “work conditioning” but what exactly is it? Work conditioning (sometimes referred to as “work hardening”) is a specific type of injury rehabilitation phase that helps you get ready to return to work. Of course, with physical therapy in general, the goal is to improve your mobility, strength, endurance and range of motion (as well as to prevent re-injury). During the work conditioning part of rehab, the therapist will create customized exercises for you that mimic your job duties so your body can become reaccustomed to those specific functions (so you safely transition back to work and perform your job as you did before). Consider it like you’re in a workplace simulation for your specific job.

Who can benefit from work conditioning?

  • Police
  • Firefighters
  • Health care professionals
  • Truck drivers
  • Mechanics
  • Construction workers

The amount of sessions and how long those session will be, will be determined by your physical therapist. First thing’s first, however—if you’ve suffered a work injury, seek immediate medical help! When your doctor thinks you’re ready for physical rehabilitation, please come see us! Everett Physical Therapy at 927 18th St. SW Suite B in Everett.