At Northwest Return to Work (NWRTW) the goal of the Physical Therapy program is to help facilitate your return to work. This may include a combination of treatments your therapist finds appropriate for you, such as strengthening, stretching, body mechanic training, manual techniques, and education on your injury.
Physical therapy is a medical rehabilitation practice in which your therapist will assess and diagnose physical and functional impairments caused by your injury and create an individualized treatment plan to address your limitations. Encouraging safe physical activity to restore you as closely as possible to the level of function you had prior to your work injury.
Physical Therapy might be right for you if:
- You have a recent or chronic bodily injury that impacts your daily life
- You recently had a surgery
- You have pain that limits your movement and activities
- You have a bone, joint, nerve, or muscle problem
For those who are not able to return to work because of unresolved physical problems following care, the treatment focuses on restoration of work abilities, addressing the physical issues of joint motion, strength, endurance, and coordination. Work rehabilitation is a goal-oriented conditioning program designed specifically to restore joint integrity and mobility, muscle performance (including strength, power, and endurance), motor function (motor control and motor learning), range of motion, and cardiovascular endurance and circulation. The objective of work rehabilitation is to restore physical capacity and function, enabling clients to return to work.
For some clients with behavioral and work specific job deficits, Work Hardening may be indicated. Work Hardening is multidisciplinary (PT and OT) and addresses the physical, functional, behavioral and vocational needs of the injured worker. Physical therapists contribute to the physical and functional components within both the work rehabilitation and work hardening programs. Work Hardening is a highly structured, goal-oriented, individualized intervention program designed to help clients return to work. It often includes real or simulated work activities designed to restore physical, behavioral, and vocational functions.
Work Hardening might be the right program for you if:
- You are making steady progress in therapy but are not able to meet the physical demands of your job
- You are making progress in therapy but need exercises and activities that closely simulate your real job duties to help build endurance and confidence in your ability to do your job
- You are progressing in therapy but are unsure if it is safe to return to work