Returning to Work Post Injury

You have completed your rehabilitation and your treating physician is determining your ability to perform your essential and critical elements of your job. At this point testing for functional abilities in a legally sound and safe way, can provide the factual evidence necessary for the Physician to ensure a “safe” and “sustainable” re-entry into the workplace, and also may provide the necessary confirmation to the employer to build confidence in your return post injury.

Return to work evaluations are often called Functional Capacity, Requirement Evaluations or Fit for Duties Exams – they all include a job specific testing protocol with components of:

• Strength (Whole body and joint specific based on previous injury) – tested dynamically and statically
• Range of motion (Total Spine and Extremities)
• Dexterity / Handling ability
• Cardiovascular Response / Endurance

Once testing is complete, a return to work determination is developed that may result in any of the following:

• Return to full duties
• Return to modified duties
• Return to work with accommodations
• No return to work

If no return is advised, then subsequently a determination if you have reached Maximal Medical Improvement (MMI) – if yes then vocational rehabilitation may proceed or if not, perhaps you could benefit from functional work conditioning to get you to the appropriate level. Return to work testing is essentially, like an X-Ray, except it is used to measure functional abilities, both are tools used by the Physician to direct care and quantify outcomes. 

A ProgressiveHealth Prevention Specialist is a health care professional who has the expertise to support and promote a safer approach to work.  They are skilled specifically in the detection, assessment and care of musculoskeletal discomforts and cross-trained to provide a variety of comprehensive preventive solutions including job assessments, ergonomic analyses, functional testing, work conditioning, and more. For more information, contact ProgressiveHealth at