Workers Rehabilitation

At WPT, we have over 30 years of experience in the rehabilitation of injured workers. Whether your job consists of sitting, standing, walking, reaching overhead or lifting/carrying, pushing or pulling, we have the knowledge and the experience to correctly evaluate your injury and plan an accurate effective treatment to help you return to your full potential allowing you to participate in your job to the best of your abilities.

WPT’s Worker Rehabilitation Program includes the following.

  • Rehabilitation of injuries
  • Work conditioning
  • Work hardening/return-to-work program
  • Performance-based functional capacity evaluation
  • On-site ergonomic analysis
  • Pre-/post-employment screening (job demand/job task analysis)
  • Acute care physical therapy
  • Cumulative trauma/repetitive motion injury prevention program
  • On-site educational sessions (e.g., back injury prevention program)
Work Conditioning

WPT’s Work Conditioning Program may be beneficial to patients prior to entering into a full work hardening program. This program can also be implemented as part of the general rehabilitation of an injured worker.

Our work conditioning program allows injured workers to maintain their physical condition while the injury is healing. This enables them to return quicker to work-related activities. This program is typically prescribed for 3 sessions per week (every other day) for 4 to 6 weeks and takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours per session. It involves general strengthening of the upper/lower extremities, cardiovascular conditioning and emphasis is placed on learning proper body mechanics and correct lifting techniques.

Work Hardening Approved Facility

WPT is a Washington State Approved Work Hardening Facility. WPt has developed a Work Hardening Program for the purpose of rehabilitating and educating injured workers and preparing them for re-entry into the workplace. Patients admitted into this program must identify a reasonable, attainable job goal that has been approved by the attending medical provider and agreed to by all parties involved including the patient, the primary care provider and the claims manager/ vocation rehabilitation counselor.

Patients are initially tested for physical capabilities and the critical components of the job goal are identified (i.e., requirements such as lifting, carrying, pushing, etc). Patient’s activities are then gradually increased in frequency and amount. The program begins at 4 hours per day 5 days per week and progress to 8 hours per day 5 days per week. These activities include physical strengthening, job simulation, aerobic conditioning, and if necessary, job modification.

Our goal is to have the patients return to their jobs as soon as completing this four to six week program. Our Work Hardening Program requires pre-authorization.

Functional Capacity Evaluations

FCE’s are used primarily when an injured worker is deemed not able to return to his/her job of injury or to test the patient’s progression in regards to physical ability level. Performance-based functional capacity evaluations are designed to test the client’s physical abilities to his/her tolerance.

Testing parameters include:

  • Sitting tolerance
  • Standing tolerance
  • Walking tolerance
  • Pushing-pulling
  • Carrying
  • Lifting from floor level to knuckle level, lifting from knuckle level to shoulder level, and lifting from shoulder level to overhead level
  • Measurement of standing and dynamic balance
  • Measurement of hand coordination and dexterity
  • Ability to reach the floor level and work at various positions and heights.
  • Any other tests that are deemed necessary or are an integral part of the patients/clients return to job goals.
  • Range of motion and strength testing
  • Symptom/Disability exaggeration testing

This information is then collected and a report is generated to assist in determining the client’s safe physical ability level. This information will then assist in identifying tolerable job categories and to determine vocational goals.

On-Site Ergonomic Evaluations
Our ergonomic evaluations are performed onsite at a designated work location. The intention of the on-site ergonomic analysis is to identify potential sites, areas, or positions that create injury concerns. Solutions to these problem areas are identified and documented in report form and delivered to the client.
Pre-/Post-Employment Screening

Pre-employment screening is a process in which the employee’s job-specific functional capabilities are evaluated to assess their match-up with the requirements of the job into which they are being hired/placed. The ADA requires a job offering to be tendered to an employee before an essential functions analysis can be compared to a functional capacity analysis.

Job demand analysis is the actual process whereby the physical/metabolic/biomechanical requirements, required outcomes/productivity, and other factors of specific jobs are quantified for baselining. This information, along with fitness for duty comparisons, is used when assessing an employee’s functional capacity to perform the tasks assigned in the associated job task analysis.

Job task analysis is the process by which a job and its specific components are assessed to define the functions considered essential to successful completion of the job. These analyses are done to develop a baseline of functional capacity requirements for appropriate job performance and safety. They may also serve as criterion reference points regarding return to work, work restrictions, placement, and reassignment when the functional capacity/suitability of an employee to perform their assigned tasks are questioned.

Acute Care Physical Therapy
Physical therapy care is provided to injured workers in the acute phase of injury management. The injured worker is evaluated by a physical therapist. A treatment plan is implemented based on the results of the evaluation. Our physical therapy staff has extensive experience in treating injured workers. The primary goal is to help resolve the injury as soon as possible within the healing constraints and to return the worker to the work situation as quickly as possible with no or minimal lost time from work.
Cumulative Trauma Prevention

The Cumulative Trauma/Repetitive Motion Injury (CTI) Prevention Program is a structured educational program designed to increase knowledge and reduce the risk of injury and/or disability.

WPT’s program:

  • Explains the causes of cumulative trauma injuries
  • Addresses the anatomy of the specific part of the body, the postures, and motions that can contribute to CTI
  • Discusses ergonomic changes
  • Identifies exercise activities to prevent the disorder.
On-Site Back Injury Prevention
The On-site Educational Back Injury Prevention Program is designed to increase knowledge and reduce the risk of back injury and/or disability. Program topics include statistical information with regard to the numbers of back injuries that are occurring in the general population, the anatomy of the back structures, and the postures and motions that cause back pain. Proper handling of materials, ergonomic changes, and exercise activities are addressed.

For additional information on our on-site educational programs, contact our Practice Administrator at 509.547.3725 or email Elena Loera

Please contact us for more information or to schedule a meeting