WorkCover Services

Treating the injured worker is not the same as treating a private patient:

Straight Back Physiotherapists understand that the management of the injured worker is not always the same as a privately funded patient. In dealing with an injured worker whose health care is funded by a third party, many and often conflicting view points need to be taken into account, balanced and managed in order to reduce symptoms, reinstate the worker’s function and facilitate a successful return to work (RTW) plan.

The multi-disciplinary model:

The players in a privately funded physio-patient interaction are physio and patient. The patient is paying for the treatment and so a direct obligation sits on the physiotherapist to provide a clinically effective, time efficient, cost effective service to achieve the end goal – reduction in pain and increase in function. It’s simple. Conversely, in the compensable injury management market, the players are numerous. Minimum contributors are worker, employer, GP, physio, insurance company/claims manager. More realistically, add rehabilitation coordinator, work supervisor, surgeon/specialist, psychologist, union representative, lawyer, spouse and family etc. Its no wonder claims fall off the rails when so many, often varied view points need to be considered.

Appreciate worker and provider responsibilities:

All Straight Back Physiotherapy staff including professional and reception have an understanding of worker and provider responsibilities and obligations in the management of compensable injury and claims. We understand that the earlier you get to the injury, listen to the worker’s concerns, diagnose the problem, identify potential worksite issues (OHS, ergonomics, relations etc), and educate the worker to understanding their rights and responsibilities, then the sooner a successful RTW can be achieved. All parties win when the worker is encouraged to stay in the workplace (as far as their medical circumstances allow) and proactively manage their injury and worksite stressors. All too often the claim is marred by issues other than the physical injury.

Straight Back Physiotherapy’s approach to management of the injured worker:

At Straight Back Physiotherapy our philosophy for dealing with the injured worker is: Provide a comprehensive examination system to get to the (biomechanical) root cause of the problem. Provide evidence-based treatment. Treat to reduce pain and restore function. Realise the limitations of physical treatment and refer on to other relevant professions as needed. Explore other significant contributors to the problem apart from biomechanical/physical issues including: worksite issues that may hinder progress or reduce chances of sustainable RTW – OHS, ergonomics, relationships other aspects of the worker’s experience of injury, pain and claim such attitude, behavioural responses, compensation issues, diagnosis issues and understanding of worker and provider obligations, emotional issues and financial issues appreciate the fundamental importance of issues such as passive treatment dependence, fear avoidance behaviour, cognitive-behavioural issues, underlying psychological and emotional issues Communicate with worker, GP and claims manager Educate the worker to understand their pain, pathology, the relationship of the pain to work duties, their responsibilities and obligations to contribute to rehabilitation, the positive effects of early RTW, and conversely, the negative effects of delayed RTW.

Straight Back Physiotherapy services for the injured worker:

Routine treatment of injuries Rehabilitative exercise prescription – injury specific and functionally relevant rehabilitative exercise programmes, that are supervised, monitored and progressed safely toward sustainable RTW. Extensive use of diagnostic ultrasound to assess and correct spinal stabilising muscle recruitment for management of back pain and postural problems, and prevention of recurrence. Return to Work Rehabilitation Services Functional Capacity Evaluation (WorkHab Australia) Worksite Assessment Job Analysis Activity of Daily Living assessments Independent Clinical Assessments