Work Well and prevent workplace injury


RAPID CITY, S.D. — Headaches, aching necks and strained muscles — no matter the job, every employee runs the risk of experiencing some kind of injury. From physically demanding construction work to long days in front of a computer, the human body experiences stress that can easily turn to injury. Safety measures in the workplace make sure the most extreme injuries are avoided, but there are still many easy ways to improve conditions and prevent the aches and pains of the workday.

The Work Well program at Sundog Rehabilitation is designed to improve workplace efficiency and prevent any kind of injury, from stressed joints to headaches to lower back pain. “We want to catch the injuries before they become injuries and keep people working comfortably and working well,” says Sarah Pettyjohn, Doctor of Physical Therapy and owner of Sundog Rehab.

Going beyond simple ergonomics, Sundog takes the expertise to a company’s office or workshop to see firsthand how employees spend their day. After listening to workers and examining the workplace, Pettyjohn says that they can recommend both ergonomic changes and simple exercises to keep employees healthy throughout the workday.

“The tendency in most people is to put things off because they don’t have time to get to appointments that they would know would be beneficial,” Pettyjohn says. “The whole point of this program is to make employers aware that we will come on site and take care of their employees’ health and productivity.”

Sundog Rehab recently helped workers who have had to move into home offices during the pandemic. By scheduling tele-health appointments with workers, Sundog Rehab has been able to make a number of recommendations to improve the sometimes hastily created home offices.

In the three years Sundog Rehab has offered the Work Well program in Rapid City, employee health has remained steady. “Employers have been reporting huge cost savings on reduced worker comp injuries and productivity loss from employees taking time off for appointments,” Pettyjohn says. “We teach employees to avoid repetitive things that can result in workplace injuries, overuse injuries, lifting injuries.”

Healthcare professionals have long recommended that patients explore preventative treatments, and the Work Well program is one way to ensure everyday activity does not negatively impact their wellbeing. “Our goal is to keep employees out of our clinic,” Pettyjohn says, “to catch aches and pains before they become larger injuries that would require them coming in to have a full course of treatment.”

You can learn more about the Work Well program and many other therapeutic options offered at Sundog Rehabilitation by calling 605-787-2719 or visiting them online at

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