Case Study 1

The Challenge

Rehab Options Work Conditioning was engaged or assigned to assist with an injured worker who had injured his back at work whilst driving a mobile crane.

During the initial consultation, the injured worker indicated that he had been consulting with another exercise physiologist twice per week and completing hydrotherapy and a gymnasium program. The injured worker also reported that he was consulting with an occupational therapist once per week. The goal of the treatment was to increase strength and confidence to assist him in climbing the 33 steps back up into the mobile crane following his injury. With his current treatment, the worker had only been completing 4 steps of a pool ladder and climbing an external fire escape ladder.

The Process

With the goal of climbing the mobile crane in mind, Rehab Options Work Conditioning commenced an exercise intervention with the worker at his work place. This allowed the exercise physiologist of Rehab Options Work Conditioning to use the actual everyday demands of his job and remove the fear- avoidance behaviour created previously when avoiding returning to the workplace. The task was broken into small, achievable steps to the worker was able to improve his confidence at the same time.

The Results

Rehab Options Work Conditioning immediately modified the worker's climbing technique and improved the worker's climbing capacity from 4 to 11 steps in the first treatment.

Following the initial treatment, the worker continued to improve in his climbing capacity, and after only three sessions had progressed to 21 steps, followed by 24 and 27 steps. The worker's confidence levels grew, as well as his speed and endurance. It was not long before the injured worker was climbing to the top of the crane and able to commence his normal duties at work.

The worker was provided with stretching exercises which were completed to assist with his climbing capacity and a gymnasium treatment program commenced to further improve strength, endurance and core stability. The worker noticed reduced fatigue and gradually began upgrading his hours at his workplace. Throughout this process, the exercise physiologist from Rehab Options Work Conditioning team liaised with the treating physiotherapist to ensure the goals of the treatment were being achieved and to assist with pain management as the worker progressed. The worker continues to attend the gymnasium and complete home based exercises regularly to maintain his improved strength and endurance and prevent a reoccurrence of his lower back injury.

What the client says:

After months of treatment that wasn't working, Rehab Options Work Conditioning got me back to work quickly and I was confident in my ability. I was even able to resume my leisure activities on the weekend, namely bushwalking. My improved core stability and understanding of my body and how it functions helped with the recovery process. I am now aware of my body when at work and at home and know safe posture and movement to prevent my injury from occurring again.