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what is a Work Hardening Program?
I have a question for anyone who has heard or has been through a work hardening program. My doctor(company Dr.) has sent me to an orthopedic surgeon who has ordered this program. the day he ordered this program he also put me on his restriction of no lifting anything over 10lbs, no kneeling, squatting, standing or bending at waist level. Is this program like PT? If so, I am still in a lot of pain and hardly able to do for my self. the Ortho said something about epidural shots the day he ordered this program. Should I ask him to about the shot first before I start this program. Thanks forum.
work hardening is physical preparation for returning to work.
after a prolonged layoff and recovery it can be difficult to sustain normal work activity. structured physical activity can make return to work easier.
****hint: read a few posts/use SEARCH before making your first post; include your state or complete the location field in your profile; start a NEW THREAD-don't hijack an existing one. Smile[/list]
Work hardening is the path to returning to work. I dont know what you did at you job before injury. Has your employer accepted your new restrictions....? With those restrictions, I cant see why they put you in work hardening unless you have a desk job... When I had work hardening they used my previous work activities, started out 2 days a week and moved to 5 days aweek... My job was phisically demanding, and was a painfull time... And a ot or pt can be the ones to run the program.............Good luck..
Thanks for the info 1171 and bronco. Yes I don't know why the ortho would put me in this program. He says I have a minimal annular tear and the MRI also says that I have three bulging disc. I am in a lot of pain. should I tell him this before I start this program? It seems to me that the doctor and the ortho wants to rush me back to work. I am a commercial/industrial H.V.A.C. mechanic(heating/air)and my job duties are very strenuous. My job involves very heavy lifting, twisting, bending, pulling, pushing, climbing up and down latter and hopping in and out of hydrological man lifts. This job is done at a very fast pace all day long. should I also tell my ortho or PT about this?
well Yah......unless you really wanna hurt like hell
........I love cats, I just cant eat a whole one by myself......

Lol well then its a done deal. I will definitely tell them when I go to mt next appointment on Jan 4. Thanks Jayne. Smile

If yours goes like mine did. You will start off on a bike for a few minutes, then you will go to various stationary weight machines. you will workout the arms legs and back. Then you will repeat the course again. You will do that for 4 hours a day for two weeks. The the IC will approve another two weeks of it. Anyway, that is how it went for me. I was a hvac tech.
8-05, Micro laminectomy/disectomy. 10-05 lumbar fusion L5-S1. 2-07 exploritory surgery. 12-07 medical implant, Spinal Cord Stimulator. now receiving SSDI. Jesus died for our sins. Soilders died for our freedom.
Jayne, 1171 or Bronco.. do you know how they start this work hardening program? What does it consist of and am I tested On paper also? Just curious. Remember, I'm new to this. Smile

Oh ok AQA.Thanks for that reply. I am wondering if I am in too much pain to do this, then what do they do, fail you from the program or what?
It is not a pass or fail like you are thinking. It is not a college exam. Work harding comes after PT., or atleast it did in my case. You will be working at your own pace. There will be someone watching you closely for the first few days. They will want you to tell them if you are in pain. I recall I would take breaks at times and walk outside. I worked at it agressively at times and then not so aggressively at other time. At then end of every session, they would ask if I wanted any heat or ice applied to my back.

PS. Just because you are doing work hardening. Does not mean you are going to be ready to return to work. My dr. used it as another diagnostic tool. If you do not like working out, the worst part maybe being there for 4 hours a day. I suggest that you use it to your advantage.
8-05, Micro laminectomy/disectomy. 10-05 lumbar fusion L5-S1. 2-07 exploritory surgery. 12-07 medical implant, Spinal Cord Stimulator. now receiving SSDI. Jesus died for our sins. Soilders died for our freedom.
Awesome reply AQA! I now have a better understanding for how the program works and what I'm up against. I know I'm gonna sound stupid but one question... how do I use it to my advantage if I'm in so much pain even to participate lol?

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