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Work Hardening Programs at Dynamic Physiotherapy

Work hardening programs tend to be quite specific to either job requirements or task requirements at work. Each client is usually referred by your employer, and a specific treatment protocol is put into place to establish clearly defined goals. The work hardening programs tend to focus on general strengthening exercises for your specific job requirements or task-orientation. These programs may take several months to complete, but can be shorter in duration. Most work hardening programs tend to focus on:

  • Safe effective strengthening exercises for either task or job requirements
  • Proper lifting, bending and rotation techniques
  • Education regarding posture, balance and stretching exercises

Work Hardening Programs at Dynamic Physiotherapy

The Return to Work/Hardening Support Services at Dynamic Physiotherapy would include:

A Return to Work assessment, which provides information about the nature of the employee’s requirements and outlines specific recommendations for treatment/work hardening.

Fitness for Duty is assessed, which provides a current snapshot of the employee’s abilities, and would include assessing the employee’s ability to perform either the essential physical demands associated with his/her job or task.

A work hardening program is structured and individualized for each employee so to maximize functional tolerance to return to work. There are several components to the plan such as physical reconditioning, targeted exercises and strengthening as well as functional tasks that are specific to the employee’s job.

Work/Hardening Support Services at Dynamic Physiotherapy

A work hardening program is broken down into Individual Stages:

Level 1 is an acute stage of Rehabilitation and would entail the start of the Work Hardening program from day 1 to week 1 completion. Level 1 is an introduction of certain exercises, and a mild strengthening component to introduce muscle activity at a base level. For task-oriented focus we will introduce specific exercises geared towards increasing the function and strengthening for that task. We take into consideration that in the initial stage, there has been a level of deconditioning. We start gradually to minimize injuring or re-injuring any previously affected areas.

Level 2 is the next level which covers from Week 2 to Week 4. We start focusing more and more on specific exercises and further increasing strengthening components in a graduated manner. We follow up each week with the employee to monitor progress and education so that risk of injury is reduced significantly.

Level 3 is the last stage of the Work Hardening Program which goes from weeks 4 to the end of the program. Depending on the specific requirements of the program that the employer requires, the program may entail from 12-16 weeks to reach the final goal. Each week, as in Level 2, we monitor and discuss with the employee their progress and continued education. Towards the end of the Work Hardening Program we will have a re-evaluation with the employee to finalize re-introduction back into their specific job. A full report will be forwarded to the employer with progress notes over the course of the program as well as the final results of the entire program.

Most of the time a Work Hardening Program is requested by an employer but may also be requested by an individual client. For more information on the Work Hardening Programs please contact the experts at Dynamic Physiotherapy.

Are all health practitioners regulated?

Yes, all our physiotherapists, massage therapists, and acupuncturists are all regulated in the province of Ontario.

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