Industrial rehabilitation is specific treatment for work-related injuries. Rehabilitation can be performed in any outpatient therapy clinic, or in an industrial rehabilitation center. Work-related injuries can be complex because they involve workers’ comp cases, case managers, physicians, therapists, and other entities. A provider should have specific training to work with workers’ comp cases.
Industrial rehab can be performed by outpatient physical, occupational therapist, along with other healthcare providers. X-rays and other diagnostics may be performed prior to treatment. Work conditioning, or work hardening, can be part of a comprehensive rehabilitation plan. Both conditioning and hardening work on rehabilitating a current injury under conditions that mimic work conditions. These practices can also help prevent future injury through teaching the patient how to properly perform normal daily tasks on the job.
A program that includes work conditioning can occur as frequently as five days a week, lasting approximately four hours per day. The rehabilitation healthcare provider will have to take into account work demands as well as the needs of the patient. Rehabilitation can take as long as six weeks. The ultimate goal is to have the patient return to work, safely, and at his or her prior level of function.