Occupational rehabilitation is defined as “the effort made to maintain or return-to-work (RTW) those people who have sustained work-related injuries or illness” (Ellis 2001). Aim Physiotherapy and Work Health Solutions is workplace rehabilitation provider with the qualifications, experience and expertise to deliver services as part of this process. It helps injured workers return to work by providing expert advice and services in consultation with workers, employers, insurers, treating doctors and other providers, and that are tailored to their specific circumstances. We deliver workplace rehabilitation services that help to identify and address the critical physical, psychological, social, environmental and organisational risk factors which may have an impact on a worker’s ability to successfully return to work.
The advantages of rehabilitation programs are being recognised and they are being extended to cover non-work-related illness and injury in workers. An injured or ill worker’s recovery and return to productive work are key objectives of the occupational rehabilitation process. Physiotherapists are widely recognised as having an integral role to play in this process.
Our Physiotherapists treat injured and ill workers, as appropriate to the nature of their injury or illness, at varying stages throughout the span of the RTW process, with treatment goals aimed at facilitating the recovery and work capacity of the worker. In addition to clinic based interventions, occupational health physiotherapy interventions can include workplace based ergonomic and risk management processes, and case management. These processes will assist ill or injured workers to achieve and sustain their RTW and will optimise the worker’s health and well-being. Physiotherapists recognise the importance of work-related physical conditioning, functional education, RTW planning, independence and self-management.
Excellent clinical reasoning ability, refined assessment skills and expert knowledge of physiology, tissue healing and biomechanics enable physiotherapists to provide a broad range of services to assist workers and employers in both injury prevention and injury management. Physiotherapists have extensive knowledge and understanding of the relationship between work history, work practice, work environment, lifestyle and mechanisms of injury and illness, which allows them to assess work capacity and identify suitable duties in all phases of the injury/illness-recovery continuum.
Ellis, N. (2001) Work and Health Management in Australia and New Zealand. Oxford University Press