Physical Therapy Recovery: When Can I Return to Work?

Physical Therapy Recovery: When Can I Return to Work?

August 15, 2021

Are you currently taking physical therapy? While its goal is to aid in your recovery, you might not feel ready to resume your ordinary schedule.

How soon can you go back to work while taking physical therapy? If this question is lingering in your mind, then you’re in luck — we’ll tell you all you need to know about returning to your job while taking physical therapy.

How Dangerous Is Working While Taking PT?

You are probably asking yourself, “can you go back to work while taking physical therapy?” and “how dangerous is it to do so?” The answers depend largely on your specific circumstances.

Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple to say whether the injury is too severe for your job without professional guidance. The first step you should do is ask your physical therapist if possible, and if so, how much physical work you can do to not injure yourself again. 

It is important to be aware of your injuries as well. If you receive the “okay” to return to your job, you should take it easy so as not to strain yourself. Cease activity immediately if you feel any pain. Don’t try to power through it — it’s not worth losing your precious PT progress.

Which Jobs Can You Go Back to?

You might be wondering whether you can go back to work while taking physical therapy. Perhaps your job doesn’t demand much physical labor, but you still might be unsure if working is good for your recovery.

Below, we have some specifics for different types of occupations to help you determine if you can go back to work while taking physical therapy.

Physical Jobs

Does your job require intense physical labor? Does your boss expect you to lift heavy objects and operate heavy machinery? If you answered yes to any of those questions, your job might not be safe to return to.

Strenuous physical work can lead to further injuries in addition to your current injuries. While doing strenuous jobs with a healing injury, your body might naturally shift the workload onto a different muscle group and cause a new issue.

Standing Jobs

If your job requires you to stand for long periods, you should avoid returning to it until therapy is all done. Standing puts enormous pressure on your spine, hips, and legs, which can lead to a plethora of issues, especially when you are still physically unfit. Take some days off and come back when you are better.

Desk Jobs

Desk jobs tend to be less taxing on the body since you don’t have to move around too much. This line of work is arguably much safer than others. Just don’t forget to stand up and move around a little from time to time to prevent your body from stiffening.

What to Do if You Can’t Go Back to Work?

Someone has to pay the bills. If you cannot return to your job, you should consider alternatives. In America, if you are injured on the job, there is a possibility that you can claim worker’s compensation to help you with the costs in the meantime. However, each state and business is different, so make sure to talk to your lawyers first.

If it’s possible to perform your tasks remotely, ask your supervisor for permission to work away from the office for a bit. With the advent of modern technology, a “yes” is more than possible, so don’t be afraid to ask!

How to Speed Up Recovery

Being able to go back to your job should be a priority. To accomplish this goal, you may need to first achieve a full recovery. Luckily, there are a few key tips you can implement to expedite your recovery rate.


It might sound counterintuitive, but physical activities may actually help you recover faster. Doing low to moderate-intensity physical activities allows your body to produce anti-inflammatory responses in your blood, reducing swelling and pain. Exercising also helps keep you active and allows you to regain muscle strength as if you were never injured at all.

Adopt a Healthy Diet

A good and balanced diet can help with muscle growth and healing. High-protein foods and plenty of vitamins will work wonders for a speedy recovery.

Get Plenty of Rest

It’s essential not to overwork your body, so be sure to give yourself plenty of rest. Take advantage of this time to catch up on a book or a series you haven’t watched. Before long, you’ll be back in the office again, so why not take this time to treat yourself a little?

The Bottom Line — Can You Go Back to Work While Taking Physical Therapy?

Returning to work while taking physical therapy is a highly personal decision. Some individuals can work and take PT without issues, while others require modifications or postpone returning to work.

Get back on track with your routine with our flexible physical therapy options. Come see us at Mid-County Physical Therapy today.

Request An Appointment

Please fill out this form and
we will contact you about scheduling.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

BioQ Pulse


Dry Needling

Golf Swing With TPI

Injury Prevention

Joint Mobilization

Joint Replacement Program

Laser Therapy

McKenzie Technique

Mechanical Traction

Physical Therapy

Running Assessment With POSE METHOD

Sports Rehabilitation

>>> More Services