Functional Capacity Evaluations

What are functional capacity evaluations?

Functional capacity evaluations (FCE) assess your physical abilities and help you get back to work. Your doctor, employer, or attorney might request a functional capacity evaluation following an injury that’s prevented you from working. 

Back To You Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation’s licensed occupational therapists perform the evaluation. They assess your ability to complete certain tasks and recognize when you’ve reached your limit. 

The practice also treats patients and guides them on their recovery journey. Everyone there understands how important it is for you to get back to your job and offer functional capacity evaluations as part of their rehabilitation service. 

Are there different kinds of functional capacity evaluations?

Back To You Osteopractic Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation offers two kinds of functional capacity evaluations to cater to the needs of all patients: 

Baseline FCE

A baseline FCE helps determine your function for disability purposes. It takes between four and six hours. 

Job-specific FCE

At the start of a job-specific functional capacity evaluation, your provider asks for a description of your occupation that details your unique job demands. They use this to develop a treatment plan that covers the performance areas required in your role. A job-specific FCE can last from two to four hours. 

What happens at my functional capacity evaluation?

Your functional capacity evaluation at Back To You Osteopractic Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation involves a series of tests that measure aspects of your physical abilities, including: 


Balance is often a problem for people who’ve suffered nerve damage and back or neck injuries. Your provider asks you to do various tasks that show how well you can balance in situations you might encounter at work. 

Reach and flexibility

Being able to bend, stretch, and reach are often key skills for employees, but injuries can reduce your flexibility. 


Your provider asks you to lift weights, starting with relatively light weights of 2-3 lbs. If you have a desk-based role, you might not need to lift anything heavy, but you need to be capable of comfortably lifting 50-60 lbs for some jobs. 

Pushing and pulling

These tests involve pushing and pulling various objects to test your stability and stamina. You need to be able to complete a series of pushes and pulls without stopping. 

Holding and grasping

Holding and grasping evaluations involve picking up objects of different shapes, sizes, and textures with one or both hands. 

Standing, sitting, and walking

If you need to stand, walk, or get up and down a lot at work, these tests determine if you’re able to manage. 

To find out more about functional capacity evaluations, call Back To You Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation or book an appointment online today.