Journal of Taiwan Occupational Therapy Research and Practice
Objective: This case study was to introduce the effects of a work hardening program designed for a construction driller who suffered work-related musculoskeletal injury. Methods: The 50-year-old male worker was diagnosed as left shoulder tendinosis, carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar nerve palsy on left hand. He had worked as a driller handling vibration hand tools for seven years. He attended the three-hour work hardening program once a week for seventeen weeks. The program consisted of self-monitoring on pain, joint mobilization, muscle strengthening, and tendon-gliding exercise for upper extremity, ergonomic education, work simulation, work-site try-out and job accommodation. Results: The subject showed improvements on pain tolerance, range of motion of left shoulder, strength, and quality of life. Conclusion: The work hardening program was effective for returning the injured worker back to work. For better service, the integration of work-hardening services and medical resources, as well as the promotion of work hardening services, were recommended to recruit injured workers as early as possible.