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Functional Capacity Evaluation

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Our Functional Capacity Evaluation
uses the internationally recognized Isernhagen Work
Systems program as its cornerstone. The Isernhagen
has had worldwide success ‘In returning people to
work and keeping them safe’. This system was
developed by Isernhagen & Associates, Inc., a
Duluth, Minnesota firm seeking to lower the risk of
worker injury and its associated costs. This program
allows us to offer the experience of an
internationally successful rehabilitation program
within our primary service area.

The Isernhagen Work Systems (IWS)
Functional Capacity Evaluation is a physical test
designed to measure an injured worker’s abilities and
then match those abilities to the specific tasks of a
certain job. This is accomplished by having a worker
perform various activities that simulate on-the-job
work. The test, which combines the highest level of
safety with objective findings, is a significant aid
in developing an effective return-to-work program for
an injured worker.
Using a unique approach to physical
examination, our Functional Capacity Evaluation
allows the worker to test for maximum objective
strength without fear of injury.

The IWS Functional Capacity
Evaluation at Northeast is a comprehensive and
standardized two-day evaluation which defines a
clients functional and physical abilities. This six
hour evaluation measures maximum objective strength,
determines a worker’s tolerance levels to specific
activities and describes those tasks that a worker
could safely perform in an eight-hour day.

  • Evaluation
  • Measures the maximum
    objective strength of an individual.
  • Determines a worker’s
    tolerance levels to specific activities.
  • Offers safety procedures that
    prevent injuries during the testing situation.
  • Includes 29 critical job
    tasks from workers’ compensation forms and
    the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.
  • Describes those tasks that a
    worker could perform in an eight-hour day.
  • Links functional deficiencies
    with physical causes.
  • Can identify the difference
    between sub maximum and maximum efforts to
    rate cooperation and consistency.
  • Provides a very specific and
    objective informational report that includes
    observations, conclusions and
  • The goal of our Functional
    Capacity Evaluation is to provide the individual,
    physician and employer with objective information for
    formulating a safe and appropriate return to work
    plan. Based on the individual’s performance,
    recommendations are made regarding return to work,
    including any job modifications, or the need for
    continued rehabilitative services. When an individual
    does not have a job to return to, guidelines will be
    determined to assist in the search for vocational

    What Testing is Included?

    • DAY ONE
      • History, Physical
      • Lifts
      • Push/Pull
      • Carries
      • Elevated Work
      • Forward Bending
      • Trunk Rotation

    Day Testing: A modified FCE can be
    completed when a client is not deconditioned and
    the return to work is very straight forward.

    • DAY TWO
      • Lifts [repeat]
      • Crawl
      • Kneel
      • Crouch
      • Repetitive Squat
      • Hand grip, Hand
      • Standing
      • Stair Climbing
      • Balance
      • Walking
      • Client Conference


    IWS FCE’s
    outcome studies have shown:

    • High return to
      work rate, even in chronic cases;
    • Worker agreement
      with test results;
    • A differentiation
      between pain and function;
    • Strong medical
      evidence to give physician clear
    • Empowerment of
      the worker to return to work;
    • Significant cost
      savings in medical costs and


    We welcome any inquiries
    regarding our Functional Capacity Evaluation. If you
    have any questions or would like to schedule a
    Functional Capacity Evaluation, please contact: Northeast
    Rehab Hospital, Salem NH at (603) 890-7600 or NRH Woburn Clinic, Woburn, MA at
    (781) 938-6219.