fbpx

Work Conditioning and Work Hardening

Closeup of fractured male hand in plaster signing insurance claim.

Patients enter the Work Conditioning and Work Hardening phase of work injury care after they are discharged from Physical Therapy. Typically, they should have minimal to no pain and are well into the restorative phase of their healing. Work Hardening and Work Conditioning is a program to strengthen the worker’s endurance and stamina in simulated job tasks. These job tasks are well-linked to the specific demands of their jobs, so exercises should reflect accurate frequency and physical loads to mimic that of their typical duties.

Light duty or being off work can adversely affect the worker’s ability to return to full duties and full demands of their jobs. Current research shows that if a worker has taken 6 weeks off of work, he/she has a 10-40% chance of not returning to work for the rest of the year.  Research also shows that at 6 month rehab mark, there is a 50% chance the worker will not return to work. Work Hardening and Work Conditioning is needed in order to reduce this loss of productivity.

Work Conditioning and Hardening at Stride Strong Physical Therapy

Following are indications for Work Hardening:

      • When a worker has suffered a work-related injury
      • When the worker has to be off work or subjected to modified duty restrictions
      • When the worker cannot perform essential job duties
      • When physically demanding job is involved
      • When the worker has limited strength and endurance
    • When there is a plateau in physical therapy

Work Hardening usually involves a long stint of physical activities and Workers doing work conditioningexercises, and typical sessions last for 3.5 hours or more a day. Workers come in 4-5 days a week to build strength and endurance and gradually progressed in their capacities. We typically see each Work Conditioning patient for an average of 4-6 weeks.

A Work Conditioning session at our clinic will involve general exercises focused on strengthening necessary muscle groups for completion of their job tasks. The worker will perform daily conditioning such as warm ups, resistance exercises and functional activities such as squats, lifts, carries, pushing and pulling and walking.

Goals for Work Conditioning and Work Hardening is to return the worker to prior levels of function for all job-essential activities and work duties. It is also an opportunity where both the patient and the employer can learn strategies to reduce injury on the job.

It is our responsibility for the welfare of our patients to maintain open and constant communication to injured workers’ physician and case manager so everyone is updated on status and prognosis for return to work. We are legally obligated to also communicate all pertinent information on attendance and participation. It is important to note that we do not communicate any health-related information to workers’ employers.

If you would like to learn more or schedule an appointment, give Stride Strong a call at 503-208-6278.

References:
U.S Department of Labor, Dictionary of Occupational Titles, Fourth Edition Revised, 1991
Occupational Health Guidelines: Work Conditioning and Work Hardening Programs, Amended BOD 03-00- 25-62; BOD 03-99-16-49; BOD 11-94-33-109; Initial BOD 11-92-29-134] [Guideline]
Work Hardening: Occupational Therapy in Industrial Rehabilitation, Leonard Matheson, Linda Dempster Ogden, Kris Violette and Karen Shultz. 1985.
https://www.arlingtonortho.net/wp-content/docs/2012/03/Understanding-Work-Conditioning-and-Work-Hardening-Programs-for-a-Successful-RTW-3-13-2014-NovaCare.pdf
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5304984/
Follow Me @

Alice Holland, DPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy, Director at Stride Strong Physical Therapy
Alice earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from USC in 2007, and have practiced Physical Therapy for 12+ years in the Outpatient Orthopedic Setting. Certified in ASTYM, she also has been a featured expert on Physical Therapy on numerous publications including health.com, healthline.com and yahoo.com.
Follow Me @

Latest posts by Alice Holland, DPT

Ana Lucia Pinheiro
Ana Lucia Pinheiro
02:18 20 Oct 17
This place is amazing. I am so happy I found Stride Strong PT. Alice pays attention to all of the details, she watches every single move I make, my posture, and the way I move through every exercise. She is very knowledgeable, she was able to pin-point the problems in my back and she has a plan to help me become stronger where I need. The place is brand new, huge, and has nice exercise machines. I tried a few physical therapists in the area, and Alice is TOP, second to none, and I feel super lucky to have found her. Highly recommended!!
Prashant Gupta
Prashant Gupta
01:00 02 Oct 17
Dr. Alice at Stride Strong is one of the best PTs I have come across. Her attention to detail and assessment of the root cause of injury is very good. She is excellent in evaluating pain patterns and giving a training schedule for a rehab & injury prevention, she is extremely knowledgeable. I would strongly recommend Stride Strong to anyone looking for PT. It is easily the best PT clinics in Hillsboro area.
steven zollin
steven zollin
20:57 14 Sep 17
Highly recommend Stride Strong Physical Therapy , Alice showed me proper form to assist in recovery with my shoulder and is very knowledgeable.
Lindsay Nied
Lindsay Nied
23:33 18 Dec 17
I recently had a massage from Joel at the Hillsboro location. He was able to work on an ongoing issue I have been experiencing with my back after a sports injury, and I left feeling so much better. The whole facility looked incredible, and everyone I met was friendly and welcoming. I would highly recommend Stride Strong for massage and physical therapy.
JoAnn Hatch
JoAnn Hatch
08:20 08 Nov 17
Dr. Sydney is by far the absolute best physical therapist I've worked with ever! Her expertise in designing highly effective and efficient exercise plans is beyond compare. I feel so much better as my strength and function increases. She comes up with the most brilliant and fun ideas to motivate. To my delight she even offered to come to my home in Vancouver and work with me on my own equipment including a Stott Pilates Reformer. Talk about going above and beyond! Couldn't be more grateful I found her!!!
Clare Perry
Clare Perry
21:58 23 Oct 17
A full hour of a dedicated PT professional's time without aides or techs? That's just one of the things that sets this clinic apart from others. Competent, professional, and amiable, Dr. Alice Holland and her team are the best in the area. While I generally see them at the Cedar Mill Clinic on Cornell, situational constraints took me to their new Hillsboro clinic today near Intel Jones Farm. Beautifully furnished, spacious with easy parking and access. May you continue to grow and thrive, Stride Strong!
Joyce Heideman
Joyce Heideman
08:28 11 May 18
After foot surgery I went to Stride Strong for therapy with Alice Holland. She helped me reach my full mobility again by continuously introducing new and challenging exercises. The entire staff is friendly and professional. They are always on time and do not rush. I look forward to doing 1/2 marathons again and riding my recumbent trike. Thank you Stride Strong for your care and high level of expertise.
Suad Daher
Suad Daher
20:48 28 Feb 18
The best physical therapy ever. Both JP and Sydney were a great PT, they helped me understand how I can help treat my injury and how it may have caused. And also they informed about so many techniques that I can use to help my injuries or any other injuries I get in the near future. They are both friendly and nice to talk too, and verbunformative. And there is also Krystal, she is the best front desk receptionist ever, she is nice and friendly and can easily manage your schedule based on the patients comfort if they want to schedule or not. She can help and she replies fast to any patients email. And she is easy to talk to. Thank you Stride Strong Physical Therapy.
Amanda O'Rourke
Amanda O'Rourke
21:38 15 Jun 18
In just a month I've seen great progress! I've been incorporating the exercises taught to me into my daily workout routine. Im very happy with my continued results.
Albert Szal
Albert Szal
23:43 10 Jun 18
Mary Szal here: I've had three sessions with Brittany at the Hillsboro location. I can say that she has been the most effective and instructive physical therapist I've ever experienced. Her personality, energy, knowledge and results are top notch.
Osa Phiangdae
Osa Phiangdae
00:05 22 Mar 18
Awesome place for PT. Hillsboro location has plenty of parking and very spacious. I had the pleasure to work mostly with Dr. Alice Holland and JP. I came in with a shoulder injury and thank goodness they understood what I was going through. They are the best of what they do, I would recommend Stride Strong to anyone who needs PT.
See All Reviews
EMAIL A PHYSICAL THERAPIST WITH YOUR QUESTION

© Copyright 2019 STRIDE STRONG