I injured my back in a work-related activity. After surgery and rehab, I'm ready to go back to the job. I had to take a test to measure my motion and function. By the time I got done twisting, turning, bending, and moving, my back was very sore. I never do that much moving on-the-job. Was this really necessary?
Yes and no. Yes because you must be able to function normally in order to prevent re-injury. No because there aren't individual tests for each person with different job requirements. You may end up taking a test that measures motion and speed when you don't normally move around that much in your current job.
Researchers are working hard to find simple tests that can predict how well a worker will do when going back to the job. But it takes time because each task must be measured in normal subjects and compared to the results from patients with various injuries.
Age, gender, and other health issues can make a difference from person to person. As much as possible, scientists try to "match" people in groups that are compared. This way we know the different results are not due to such factors.
Sue A. Ferguson, PhD, and William S. Marras, PhD. Revised Protocol for the Kinematic Assessment of Impairment. In The Spine Journal March/April 2004. Vol. 4. No. 2. Pp. 163-169.