A head custodian injured her low back while moving and assembling tables for a public high school. She was prescribed medication, physical therapy, and injections, but only reported moderate benefit from these treatments. Her goals were to regain the strength to move all classroom furniture, including teacher’s desks. Prior to work conditioning, she worked light duty with restrictions for sustained/repetitive postures and lifting up to 40 lbs.
During her work conditioning initial evaluation, she demonstrated minimal dynamic lifting values across the board and the occasional tolerance to squat, kneel, and bend. She was limited by pain complaints at first but gradually increased the intensity of several exercises as her sessions increased in duration. During daily sessions, she practiced loading and unloading boxes of paper with a hand truck and simulated moving furniture through several material handling exercises. At the beginning of her second week, she reported significant improvement and said she was ready to return to work. Her re-evaluation appointment was rescheduled to an earlier date, and she successfully demonstrated the physical abilities to return to full duty work.
On her last day, she reported “the pain that I had in my lower back is 100% [better].” She had increased all dynamic lifting values and repetitive activity tolerances in her daily exercises. Her lower level lifts from the re-evaluation more than tripled in less than two weeks! She returned to full duty work as a custodian just in time for the start of the upcoming school year.
Work Conditioning is the perfect next step after physical therapy to help someone return to work. Please call us at 919-256-1400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.