Work conditioning is most effective if implemented as soon as possible after an injury and/or surgery. According to our data, there was an average of 256 days (about 8.5 months) between the injury and referral dates for work conditioning clients that were able to return to work. On the other hand, there was an average of 296 days (about 10 months) between the injury and referral dates for those that did not return to work. The sooner that they rebuild strength and relearn correct mechanics, the more favorable the outcome. We have found 70% of our work conditioning clients return to their regular duties when referred before 8.5 months after the injury.
Another glaring difference between the return to work (RTW) and non-return to work (non-RTW) clients was the number of sessions that they participated in work conditioning. A RTW client averaged 16 sessions in work conditioning as opposed to 13 sessions for non-RTW clients. We will not keep clients longer than necessary if they demonstrate minimal progress or poor effort during their re-evaluation appointment at the end of the 2nd week. In fact, the clients who were discharged due to lack of effort or a case settlement attended only an average of 4 sessions.
In work conditioning, effort is often difficult to measure but has a significant influence on the outcome. Our program evaluates the effort of our referrals with both grip strength testing and the XRTS Lever Arm. We found that 75% of the clients who were valid in 3 out of 3 grip strength testing criteria during their re-evaluation were recommended to return to work upon completion of work conditioning. The clients who maintain good effort throughout the program have a very high rate of returning to their regular jobs.
What is the takeaway from all of these numbers? Refer your injured workers to JRS as soon as possible, and you can expect them to return to work. Call us at (919) 256-1400 today to learn more.