Back Pain & RTW

Cheryl Griffiths

Everything you need to know about back pain and RTW in one hit!

Severe back pain is common. In any one year about 4% of the population indicates they have an episode of back pain which is severe and disabling. The effectiveness of old remedies - such as inactivity - have been disproven by modern research. Today we know there are better and safer ways to manage one of the most common health complaints.

People naturally think the severity of the pain is a sign of the severity of the damage in their back, but medical evidence tells us otherwise. Good research tells us that people who are advised to return to normal activities do better in the longer term.

In this article, we've put together a package of articles on back pain and return to work.

Here are links to expert opinions, case studies and research summaries:  (Links are open access for a limited time).

Case Studies

A sample of the many case studies available on back pain - follow the journey of these 3 employees and find out what could have been done to encourage a better outcome.

When return to work fails: an all too common case study

Rest and activity avoidance is often not the best medicine


Two articles that will help change the way you think about back pain and RTW.

Things have gotta change: back pain and why our thinking is all wrong

Tests vs Symptoms - which wins?


Four evidence based research reviews on back pain influences and treatments

Low back pain: Which treatments work?

Back pain and work: Physical factors - Physical work

Back pain and work: Psychosocial factors

Expecting the worst and fearing pain are tell-tale signs of slow RTW

The SuperDoc Series

Our resident super hero looks at the folly of letting fear, activity avoidance and reliance on investigations control recovery.

Fighting fear and back pain

Back pain and the 'fear avoidance model'

Back pain and investigations

Published 12 October, 2009 | Updated 13 April, 2010