Return to Work Services at Cleveland Clinic Rehabilitation and Sports Therapy was established more than 30 years ago to help injured workers return to work quickly, arm them with skills to avoid re-injury and to work safely, productively and positively for the remainder of their careers.

Who is return to work services for?

Return to Work Services is appropriate for people recovering from a work-related injury, such as a back injury, repetitive motion disorders, and upper and lower extremity problems. The program is designed to promote a safe return to work through incremental increases in the duration and intensity of physical activity, work simulation and educational sessions.

What does return to work service involve?

Work Conditioning
Work conditioning takes place three to five days per week, for up to eight weeks. It includes:

  • Work-focused therapeutic intervention and functional retraining.
  • Individualized work simulation.
  • Body mechanics training, including injury prevention strategies.
  • Recommendations for job accommodation and/or ergonomic changes.
  • A total body approach to strengthening and conditioning.
  • Patient education: ergonomics and injury prevention strategies.

Personalized Occupational and Physical Therapy
Personalized occupational and physical therapy happens one to five days a week and includes:

  • Injury-specific therapeutic exercise, manual therapy and/or aquatics therapy.
  • Individualized work simulation.
  • Patient education: ergonomics and injury prevention strategies.

Additional Service

Additional services available include:

Customized Assessments

Customized assessments can evaluate your capabilities in the workplace, as well as certain areas of the work environment that may impact your transition or your future there.

Functional capacity evaluation (FCE)

Your functional capacity is your level of physical ability when completing actions such as moving around or carrying out tasks. The functional capacity evaluation will:

  • Assess your functional abilities, including material handling capacities, consistency of effort and reliability.
  • Establish your return-to-work status.

Jobsite analysis

This analysis will:

  • Evaluate your place of work, including physical and environmental factors.
  • Provide information that will help to formulate an individualized return-to-work plan.

Ergonomic study

An ergonomic environment is one that allows you to work productively and safely with the people and objects around you. The goals of an ergonomic study are to:

  • Assess the fit between you and your job requirements.
  • Identify aspects of your work environment that increase your risk of injury, helping to resolve ergonomic challenges.

Meet Our Return to Work Services Team

Our Return to Work Services team is made up of certified and licensed rehabilitation professionals, including:

  • Physical therapists.
  • Occupational therapists.
  • Ergonomic specialists.

How long will return to work service take?

Studies show that the likelihood of returning to work decreases the longer the employee is off work for an injury. Early referral for evaluation and treatment leads to better outcomes and a faster return to work. On average, program length is four to eight weeks.