Functional Capacity Evaluations

At Mid West Physiotherapy, Limerick, we deliver Functional Capacity Evaluations with experienced Ergonomist and Chartered Physiotherapist, Donnacha Ryan.

What is a Functional Capacity Evaluation?

A functional capacity evaluation (FCE) is a comprehensive assessment tool used by physiotherapists to determine an individual’s ability to perform certain functional activities, such as lifting, bending, reaching, and carrying, that are required for daily living or work-related tasks. It is often used as part of a rehabilitation program for individuals who have suffered a musculoskeletal injury or illness that has affected their physical functioning.

Who is it for?

An FCE is typically recommended for individuals who have sustained an injury or illness that has affected their ability to perform activities of daily living or work-related tasks. It is also used to assess an individual’s ability to return to work after an extended period of absence.

Most often, individuals are referred to us by an occupational health doctor, employer or insurance company.

What is involved?

The evaluation typically involves a series of physical tests and measurements that assess an individual’s range of motion, strength, endurance, balance, and coordination. The physiotherapist may also assess an individual’s pain level, ability to perform functional tasks, and their ability to perform activities related to their job.

What to expect during an assessment?

During an FCE, individuals can expect to perform a variety of physical tests and measurements, which are conducted over the course of several hours. They may be asked to: lift, carry, push, and pull various weights; perform tasks that require bending, stooping, and reaching; and complete functional tasks related to their job or daily living.

Benefits of an FCE

An FCE gives an accurate, precise and detailed overview of specific functional limitations and strengths. This can help the physiotherapist (often in conjunction with a referring doctor) to develop an effective rehabilitation program tailored to the individual’s needs.

In our clinic, an FCE is most often used to help determine an individual’s readiness to return to work, and provide information that can be used to determine job accommodations or modifications.