Industrial Rehabilitation

ACE Rehab is here to help recondition workers who are preparing to work after recovering from an injury. After being out of work for a long period of time, injured workers become deconditioned throughout the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems.   They have spent a long time rehabilitating their injury site, but not a lot of time on the rest of their body.  We offer Functional Capacity Evaluations, Work Hardening and Work Conditioning rehabilitation programs to prepare these workers to return to full duty work.


Returning to pre-injury status is a top priority for athletes, injured workers and employers. Timely and thorough recovery is also a top priority at ACE Rehab. Our Physical Therapists leads the way with industrial rehabilitation programs focused on recovery as well as prevention and reduction of work-related injuries. Like our other therapy services, we excel in evaluating and returning injured workers to employment as soon as possible.

Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE) is one of the many services we offer injured workers. FCE is a comprehensive battery of performance-based tests commonly used to determine the ability for work, activities of daily living, or leisure activities. It may be used to determine an employee’s readiness to return to work after an injury and the restrictions or modifications that may be necessary. The results will assist the employer and physician in determining the plan of action to improve the employee’s health and job performance.

What can you expect during an FCE?

The components of the FCE will vary based on the purpose of the assessment. The FCE typically begins with a client interview, medical record review, and musculoskeletal screening. Functional testing may include graded material-handling activities such as lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling; and positional tolerance activities such as sitting, standing, walking, balancing, reaching, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, object handling/manipulation, fingering, hand grasping, and hand manipulation  The FCE may also evaluate an individual’s hand dexterity, hand coordination, endurance, and other job-specific functions.  Pain is monitored during the FCE to document client-reported levels of pain during various activities as well as to assess different ways to manage the pain. 

FCEs are done on a one-on-one basis and may range in length from 4 to 6 hours. The examination may take place over 2 consecutive days.


Work Conditioning focuses on re-conditioning the entire body for the patient to return to their occupation.  Initially, rehabilitation is directed toward the patient’s injury and does not focus on the rest of the musculoskeletal or cardiovascular system. Once the injured body part has healed sufficiently and the patient is preparing to return to work, the focus of the conditioning program shifts to re-conditioning the entire body. The patient participates in drills and exercises specifically designed to resemble body movements, postures and cardiovascular requirements needed for the patient to participate in their job duties. The patient progresses through a rehabilitation program that begins with a couple of hours of conditioning early on, and then increases to a time period that resembles an entire day of work. 


Work hardening is an area of rehabilitation in which the injured worker is placed in a simulated work environment that prepares them to resume performing the specific tasks unique to their job.  The patient goes through hours of rehabilitation to prepare them to resume regular job duties.  Work Hardening incorporates simulated work tasks or actual work duties.  For example, the injured auto mechanic works on cars at the rehabilitation location. This trains their body for specific tasks associated with their job. The patient is put through a regimen that begins with a couple of hours of simulated work and gradually it is increased to a full duty work schedule. 


ACE Rehab can help determine employee safety and job appropriateness in order to aid employers in preventing further injuries. A job site analysis provides recommendations that increase safety, improve employee efficiency and productivity, and produce engineering and ergonomic findings that increase manufacturing productivity.


Identifying musculoskeletal injury potential can reduce the likelihood that more expensive medical care will be required. An industrial rehabilitation consultant meets with employees who report soreness, muscle strains, spasms, joint pain, and/or catching during movement at work. Appropriate treatment is recommended to address the problem and minimize the employee’s time off from work. Weekly follow up meetings are held to follow the progress of recovery and determine if further care is necessary to improve health and productivity.


ACE Rehab can help employers and new hires learn the signs and symptoms of cumulative injuries and how to avoid them. Education is specific to the industry and demands of the job, and emphasize proper lifting and body mechanics to improve employee job performance and reduce risk of injury.