Work Hardening

Physiocare Physical Therapy helps injured workers to return to work after an injury


These programs of therapy involve a higher level of therapeutic intervention. The goal of these types of programs is to prepare an individual to return to work in a physical state of readiness, to meet the particular demands of the job. The patients we work with on work hardening and work conditioning have typically been away from their jobs due to injury for at least a month. In addition, they have jobs in medium to high physical demand categories.


Work hardening and work conditioning are both full-body intensive conditioning programs. Work simulation activities are included in the therapy, to help workers safely return to their livelihoods.


Work Hardening

The body is conditioned for the purpose of returning to work in work hardening therapy. The experts at Physiocare can help individuals in all high-demand professions, including firefighters, police officers, and industrial jobs. Actual work-related functions are performed during work hardening, including power and hand tool operation and material handling. Work hardening is usually performed for 2-4 hours at a time and is performed 3-5 times a week.

Work Conditioning

When an individual has been recovering from an injury but he or she is not ready to work at fully capacity yet, the work conditioning program of physical therapy at Physiocare is perfect. Individuals who are warehouse workers, mechanics, health care professionals, delivery truck drivers, machinists and in various other professions may benefit from work conditioning after an injury. Work conditioning can involve a few minutes of simulation of a simple work task up to 2 hours of work conditioning. The following are situations in which getting involved in work conditioning at Physiocare is a step in the right direction:

  • The pain level is low but there are still deficiencies in activity tolerance and strength.

  • Progress in rehab has plateaued.

  • Completed regular therapy successfully but have been out of work for an extended time period and need assistance preparing for the physical demands of the job.

Our highly trained therapists at Physiocare Physical Therapy help individuals return to work using work hardening and work conditioning. Our physical therapists work closely with the patient or employee’s physician as well as his or her case manager during the process to ensure the employee or individual is able to perform all essential functions of his or her job prior to return to work after injury. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about these programs of therapeutic treatment.