Northwest Occupational Medicine Center

Excellence Since 1972

Work Hardening

Our Work Hardening Program is designed to successfully help transition an individual from acute care to return to work in a specific job without further injury.

The program is a highly structured, goal oriented and individualized format designed to obtain maximum benefit in a relatively brief period of time. Our highly qualified and experienced physical therapy staff works individually with each patient to improve their strength, flexibility, and endurance. Specially trained occupational therapy staff design a work simulation program that improves functional strength, dynamic lifting capacities and positional activity tolerances.

Patients must possess a willingness to fully participate in the program, a key element in successful transition to a safe return to work.

The program typically starts with an initial assessment by a board certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physician and a physical or occupational therapist. If accepted into our program, the person usually starts with 4 hours of consecutive treatment, five days per week. The lengths of the treatment day as well as the physical demands of the program are increased systematically over a period of 3-4 weeks with a transition back to the work place. Treatment is coordinated with the attending physician, a vocational rehabilitation consultant, and the employer, with information also provided to the insurer regarding the individual’s progress.

Our Work Conditioning Program is directed at preparing an individual for general return to work when a specific job has not yet been determined. Physical and occupational therapy staff design an individual strengthening and conditioning program to improve strength, flexibility, endurance and overall physical capacities.