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Anyone ever do Work Conditioning?

lilac100llilac100 Posts: 180
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had my first PT appointment today since the surgery. My Dr has also ordered Work Conditioning. I was wondering if anyone else has done this and did it help? What exactly do they have you doing. I understand it is to regain strength for my job but kinda worried about it. I'm overweight and while I push myself I don't like the idea of anyone else pushing me.

On a brighter note the therapist said I am a lot stronger than he expected. Most people are weaker after the surgery. He said he was pleasently suprised by my current ablities. He was also kind of concerned with my L5/S1 level. When he was checking for tenderness everything else was good but I about came up off the table when he was pushing at that level.


  • I'm not sure what they would do in work conditioning, but I'll bet it would be your showing them the type of activities you do at work, and then the PT showing you the proper body mechanics of how to accomplish your tasks without hurting yourself. Then they will probably work on strengthening the muscles that you will need to use to do your job the "new" way. It's great news that you're already stronger than they expected.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Just like PT there is OT which deals more with motor coordination. Generally OT deals more with hands but it can be whole body movement and control.
  • I don't know exactly what it is. My PT said it was simulated work for 4-8 hrs a session. I'm nervous but it hasn't started yet and I've decided why worry about what you can't change. Doc said do it so I do it.
  • I wonder if this is supposed to help you get back to work or show what it is at work that causes pain?
  • Hi lilac100, I had my Open L4-5 TLIF (4 screws & 2 rods) on October 14th. On my 6 week check up the doctor once again stressed how long of a recovery this surgery really is.

    I asked if down the road I would be going to physical therapy or not. He said probably not. But this really worries me. I am a police officer & I'm already scared that I won't be able to perform my daily duties once I am released. My most recent doctor has been great so far.

    Long story short, I got hurt while working so I've been playing the workman comp game. The 1st doctor I saw told me I just had pulled muscles. He said the MRI's didn't show anything warrenting as much pain as I CLAIM to be in & just needed to work on my endurance. My current doctor found 2 broken bones that I'd been dealing with since June 1st.

    Please let us know about the 'work conditioning' therapy, if it sounds good I'll push for my doctor to send me to something similar. Good luck!
  • I love how they can be so wrong and get away with it!! And give you an attitude!!

    I am a very strong believer in PT. How can you possibly have a surgery and wait through recovery without losing muscle strength? In my experience doctors don't like to send you to PT. I wonder sometimes if they are afraid that you will find out that what they are telling you is BS?

    You might want to check with your HR department at work to find out what the long term picture is going to be for you. Alot of departments are very picky about letting officers back after injuries. Doesn't mean that you can't work but you might want to start preparing yourself for some changes if necessary.

    Good Luck
  • Well found out the work conditioning isn't covered on my insurance. Doesn't really matter though because my physical therapist is working around it. He is keeping me in pt for 2 hours at a time and we are working out more than the normal therapy. He also had the doctor there Thursday to watch my therapy. The doctor was hugely impressed with my progress. I may get to go to work for the 3 days before Christmas, then I will be off until January 4th for vacation. Anyway just wanted to update on the work conditioning.
  • Hi dapapo315,

    I just saw your post and I would definately tell your doctor you want PT. I have a friend who is a fireman, who had a major back injury(not work related), explosion fracture and nerve damage. He had to have cages and rods put in to stabilize his back. He pushed himself really hard with physical therapy and at 6 months was able to go back to work full time. He even had to take a fit for duty test, which is quite difficult for the fireman. He kept himself very focused on doing everything he could to make himself stronger in order to return to work.

    I also had an open TLIF on 11/16/09 fusing 2 levels, L4-S1, with pedicle screws and rods. At my 2 week check up my doctor also said that he may not send me to physical therapy but he wants to wait till I see him again in 6 weeks to determine. But I am also in fairly good shape and exercised and had tons of physical therapy before my surgery.

    Talk to your doctor and tell him your concerns. Remind him what you do for a living. And ask him if he needed help from a police officer would he want you showing up at the scene if you had not had PT or if you had?
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