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Physical Performance Testing of an individual’s ability to get back to life’s activities is an essential but under-used specialty we provide to the extended medical community.  Many patients, doctors, and attorneys need this information to make reliable decisions on when and how soon to start, pace, or advance recovery activities or return to work.  Unfortunately, guesswork in this area can often be unreliable.  In cases where the recovery process is long or for more severe injuries, surgery, or heavier types of jobs are involved, it is invaluable to have objective test results available to guide the recovery (getting back to …) process.

Performance Testing and Disability Qualification

Testing is a common and essential process for patients considering disability since objective documentation is commonly required in the disability qualification process.  There simply is no better way than objective testing by a trained specialist via safe methods in a clinical environment to guide the disability determinations.  Regardless of the objective of the disabled client, Doctor, Attorney, Patient, Employer, or Carrier are best served when determinations are based on performance testing. 

What is Performance Testing?

A Functional Capacity Evaluation or a Physical Performance Test is an effective diagnostic performance tool that can answer most return to work, sports or life challenges.  Knowing what an individual’s physical capabilities and tolerances are, can assist with accurate and timely return to activity decisions.  Whether it is return to work after surgery, or starting essential activities following injury, testing is the preferred way to objectify this process.  

Types of Performance Testing:

    Functional Capacity Evaluation. Original comprehensive test process to assess what and how much a patient or injured employee can perform safely and tolerably.Utilized to assess work capacity for a safe and expeditions return to employment.

    Physical Performance Test. Typically less comprehensive than an FCE, it is more commonly utilized outside of the work injury arena.

    Most commonly utilized to assess for return to work following a non-work related injury or elective surgery.(for example: after gallbladder, heart, female surgeries or non-work related orthopedic surgery).

    Basically synonymous with FCE but typically not as comprehensive or involved.

    Often required prior to obtaining qualification for disability.May be required every 1-5 years to maintain disability status.

    Required by some employers for new-hires prior to taking a specified position, usually manual-labor related positions or jobs with high physical demand. Intended to confirm capability/physical capacity.