Industrial Rehabilitation Reduces Work-Related Injuries

The Therapy Dept. at South Bend Orthopaedics is a premier provider of industrial rehabilitation and injury prevention services. Our physical and occupational therapists, with years of experience in work-related injuries, are dedicated to our patients’ rapid and safe return to work. We offer a variety of industrial therapy and rehabilitation services, all designed to reduce workers' compensation spending as well as return the injured worker to work.

Functional Capacity Evaluations

This standardized, objective evaluation determines employees’ abilities to perform the tasks and physical demands related to their jobs (e.g., lifting, pushing, walking). The assessment, which can be either baseline or job-specific, also addresses consistency, validity-of-effort, productivity, and safety.

Work Conditioning

The daily, four-hour program is designed to address injured workers’ physical deficits and prepare them for return-to-work. There is a focus on stretching and strengthening, aerobic training, body mechanics,
pacing, and job simulation.

Job Analysis

Therapists who specialize in ergonomics provide on-site assessments, which include reviews of the physical demands that the employees much perform in order to return to their specific jobs. This analysis allows medical care to be directed toward return-to-work goals and also assists the physician in the decision-making process.

On-Site Return-to-Work Consultation

This unique service involves both employees and employers in the return-to-work process. The therapist/ergonomist evaluates workers on-site as they perform regular job tasks. The need for job modifications or adaptive equipment is determined.

Work Hardening

The injured workers follow return-to-work programs that were specially designed by therapists. This program helps to prepare the employees for return-to-work by building strength and endurance with a graded progression of work tasks. Treatment consists of proper body mechanic instruction, stretching, strengthening, cardiovascular conditioning, work pacing, and problem-solving methods for symptom control.

Injury Prevention

Injury prevention and education have been proven to reduce the frequency of claims and severity of injuries. Highly experienced therapists consult with employers to design programs that address their specific needs. SBO therapists have extensive training in ergonomics and can properly assess worksites and implement strategies to prevent future injuries.

Employee Education

SBO partners with employers to custom design prevention and education programs for workplaces. Popular topics include repetitive injury, safe work techniques, and healthy backs. The therapy department uses a risk assessment to identify cost drivers and injury trends that help determine which departments may benefit from injury prevention programs. Our therapists conduct analyses of work environments, observing employees who are to be trained as well as assessing physical demands, problem areas, and risk factors (those determined by OSHA to be contributors to musculoskeletal disorders).

Ergonomic Consultation

Therapists evaluate workers’ performance and safety as they relate to the interaction between the employees and their working environments. The ergonomics requirements of the job tasks are established.

Post-Offer Employment Testing

Designed by therapists with the help of employers, this screening determines if potential new employees meet the essential physical demands of the positions for which they have applied. The evaluation also identifies other potential ergonomic risk factors that may lead to future injuries.

For more information on scheduling an appointment with one of our industrial rehabilitation specialists, contact our Rehabilitation Therapy at 574-247-9441 or schedule an appointment online.