RTW overview
Information for employees
Return to work information
Getting the best health care
Information for treaters
Information for employers


On Giving Advice to People Who Are Coping with Disability / Impairment at Home or Work (US – Webility)
Advice on giving advice to an ill or injured person written by Dr Jennifer Christian. Covers 'getting back in the saddle', 'activity prescriptions' among other things.

Fact Sheets (Canada - Institute for Work & Health)
Factors that influence return to work. Summarizes facts from several papers and gives overview of the major issues involved in return to work

Returning to work. - The CentriX Method
A Canadian disability management and rehabilitation service company suggests an approach to understanding work related disability based on a worker's attitudes and beliefs about illness, injury and disability.

“You cannot solve the same problem with the same thinking that created It.” – Albert Einstein

First understand the thinking. The article then provides information on the 'Six Principles of Ethical Influence'

WORK & HEALTH (UK – Waddell and Burton)
Changing how we think about common health problems in healthcare, the workplace and in society. 'Work is generally good for health and well-being'Executive summary of publication changing how we think about common health problems in healthcare, the workplace and in society. 'Work is generally good for health and well-being'

Facilitators and Barriers to Return to Work: A Literature Review (Australia – ReturntoWorkSA)
Work disability and return-to-work are multi-determined outcomes that cannot be accurately predicted just from knowledge of the medical or physical dimensions of the injury or condition.

Managing sickness absence & return to work in small businesses
(UK – Health & Safety Executive)

A concise guide on how to help those off sick return to work.

Managing sickness absence and return to work (UK)
Developed as part of the UK Better Backs Campaign, contains useful info on managing workers with back problems.

Reducing Disability Days: Healing More Than The Injury (US – Dr Jennifer Christian, )
A comprehensive article about medically unnecessary disability and the interplay of the non medical features that result in lost productive time. The article describes these features and offers pointers to overcome them.

Are People with Disability at Risk at Work - A Review of the Evidence (Australia – Safety and Compensation Council)
This report shows that workers with a disability are not an increased occupational health and safety risk. Workers with a disability have on average, a lower number of OHS incidents and lower workers’ compensation costs. Contrary to common perceptions by employers that people with disability pose an increased OHS risk, this research shows that the opposite is true.

A Guide for Managing Return to Work
(Canada -Human Rights Commission)

An excellent 3 part guide. Part 1 Key Legal Principles. Part 2 Step-by-step Guidelines for Managing the Return to Work and Part 3 Case Studies contain universally useful information and handy tips for managing return to work.

Overview of the American guideline for the prevention of work disability (US – Dr Jennifer Christian)
By Lead Author Dr Jennifer Christian. The document addresses: The ill or injured individual’s personal adjustment (coping) process. The medical care process. The benefits administration process. The reasonable accommodation process under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Concepts of Rehabilitation for the Management of Common Health Problems (UK – Waddell & Burton)
'The stereotype of disability is a severe medical condition with objective evidence of disease and permanent physical or mental impairment.... In fact, most sickness absence and long-term incapacity for work and premature retirement on medical grounds are now caused by less severe conditions.' This report by Gordon Waddell and A Kim Burton for the Department for Work and Pensions, UK reviews the evidence and offers conclusion on the best rehabilitation approaches.



Return to work information

Getting the best health care





Workplace Culture










Consequences of being off work
Activity and fitness
Physical health conditions
General Musculoskeletal
Acute (short term) pain
Chronic (long term) pain









General Musculoskeletal







Chronic Pain Australia
Australian site providing information for people experiencing pain, as well those caring for them and health care professionals.

Australian Pain Management Association (Australia)
The Australian Pain Management Association exists to help people living with persistent pain be empowered and connected in a community of like-minded people. It’s website has fact sheets, stories from people with lived experience of pain, a helpline that offers support to people distressed by living with unrelieved pain and pain support groups.

Empowered beyond pain podcast (Australia)
This podcast by Body Logic Physiotherapy talks to world-leading researchers, clinicians and patients who deal with pain conditions. It aims to make sense of pain science for the layperson and empower clinicians to provide the best care for people in pain. Each episode has practical tips and insights to help increase your understanding and shift your behaviours to live beyond pain.

Self-care guides (UK)
This website belongs to the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. It provides information and resources about self-care for back pain and injuries. Their self-care guides offer advice and tips on how to self-manage your symptoms and when it may be important to seek healthcare.

Tell me about your pain
Host Alan Gordon and Alon Ziv discuss the science behind the ‘pain-fear cycle’ and speak with real chronic pain sufferers to help listeners overcome obstacles to healing through evidence-based techniques.

The pain management guidebook
This guidebook was created by Matt Del Brocco from The Honest Physio. In it, healthcare professionals ‘guide you during your pain journey and allow you to 'fly solo' rather than being a passenger along the way.’ It’s designed as a tool to be used alongside working with clinicians to create your own self-management plan.

Joint Action (Australia)
Joint Action is hosted by Professor David Hunter, an expert in the field of osteoarthritis. Join David as he interviews the world's leading experts in the field talk about how people with osteoarthritis can increase their knowledge about how to manage the condition.

Musculoskeletal Australia
Musculoskeletal Australia is a consumer organisation that works with, and advocates for, people with arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain and other conditions. On its website you can find a Pain guide that gives you ideas to try to manage your pain.

Pain Concern (UK)
A registered charity (UK) offering information and support for people who live with pain. We campaign on pain issues, provide a helpline for pain sufferers, a quarterly Pain Matters magazine, a forum and free leaflets to help people manage their pain

Position papers on pain
The Australian Pain Society has a series of evidence based position papers on the management of pain problems. provides education and resources (including videos) for healthcare professionals and the general public about managing musculoskeletal pain. It covers a wide range of topics on different types of pain, musculoskeletal pain and provides self-management strategies to help people better manage their pain and improve their overall quality of life. (Canada) provides information about pain and pain management, including the science of pain, common pain conditions and various treatment and self-management options. It has in-depth articles, research summaries and educational resources for both healthcare professionals and the general public.


Acute (short term) pain


Chronic (long term) pain

Chronic pain (Australia - NPS Medicinewise)
An article that features definitions of chronic pain, discusses the role of opioids - the evidence, implications of tolerance, risks involved and possible complications. 

Pain HEALTH (Australia - WA Gov)
PainHEALTH was developed by the Department of Health, Western Australia, in collaboration with Curtin University, the University of Western Australia and the Musculoskeletal Health Network. It aims help people living with musculoskeletal pain manage their pain, health and wellbeing with clinically supported information, tips, support and personal stories.

MyJointPain (Australia - Arthritis Australia)
This Australian website provides information and support for people with joint pain. It has information on causes, diagnosis, treatment options and self-management techniques. It also has an interactive symptom checker and information on local support groups and healthcare professionals.

The Pain Disability Prevention Program (Canadian – PDP Program)
A program administered by Psychologists aimed at disability prevention in people who suffers persistent pain due to injury or illness. The program targets psychosocial risk factors for pain and disability and poses activity as a key to rehabilitation success.

CurableHealth (USA)
Can our thoughts and feelings really affect our physical health? Join the Curable crew as they interview top researchers, best-selling authors and experts about the astonishing ways the mind can affect the body. They also have an App that uses science-backed techniques to relieve chronic pain.

Using opioids in general practice for chronic non-cancer pain (Australia - The Medical Journal of Australia)
An overview of the evidence available on frameworks for considering opioid prescription and ongoing use. 

Chronic Pain Management – Treatment Options (Anxiety Treatment Australia)
Overcoming anxiety, depression and anger, relaxation techniques, challenging negative thoughts and beliefs, distraction techniques, pacing techniques, where you can get help.

Chronic Pain (UK – Action of Pain)
Information on chronic pain, Pain Gate Theory, assessment tools, planning tools, medication. This information is free, but site also offers a fee based subscription.

Chronic pain: A self help guide (UK - Mood Juice)
Information on understanding and managing pain for patients, includes goal setting and relaxation techniques.

ACI Pain Management Network (Australia - NSW Gov)
This website provides information and support for people with chronic pain in New South Wales. It offers information on causes, diagnosis, treatment options and self-management techniques. It also provides information on local support groups and healthcare professionals to help people understand and manage their pain.

This is a Canadian online self-management tool to help those living with persistent or chronic pain. You can learn about chronic pain, complete pain self-assessments, keep track of symptoms, develop plans for pain management and quality of life, connect with others who live with pain and find the latest in pain research and practical, evidence based resources.

American Chronic Pain Association (USA)
The ACPA offers education in pain management skills to people with pain and their family and friends and health care professionals. The resources and tools help you better understand your pain and work more effectively with your health care team.

Opioid prescription in chronic pain conditions - Guidelines for SA GPs (Australia - SA Government)
Guidelines for GPs that encourage balance between addressing the treatment of pain, while minimising the risks involved. 

IASP Guidelines (International Association for the Study of Pain)
Links to guidelines including recommendations for treatment wait-times, pain treatment services and clinical guidelines in the field of pain. 

Chronic Pain Australia
User-friendly, research-based information and support for those experiencing chronic pain, put together by volunteers who have experienced pain, as well as researchers and treaters.  

Patient education and resources (USA - American Academy of Pain Medicine)
Online videos and tools to help patients learn more about managing their pain.

3 things the drug companies don't want you to know (Australia - SurviveStriveThrive)
This article outlines how you can use your own natural pain-relieving chemicals to take control of your chronic pain. 

Tame The Beast
Tame the Beast is a collaboration between pain researcher, Prof. Lorimer Moseley, pain physiotherapist, Dave Moen and professional communicator Sam Chisholm. It aims to give people evidence-based direction to guide their recovery from pain and inspire research-based action in the treatment of chronic pain. Tame the Beast is an animation, a question-and-answer and a podcast series.

The pain toolkit
The Pain Toolkit is a website that provides information and resources to help people better understand and cope with chronic pain and improve their overall quality of life. It includes self-assessment tools, educational materials and guided exercises.



Beliefs and attitudes
Psychological health conditions
Workplace stress




Managing the relationship with an injured or ill worker during return to work (SWA)
This guide by Safe Work Australia is aimed at small to medium businesses that face complex challenges when their workers become ill or injured. This guide focuses on the most important relationship: the one between the supervisor and the injured or ill worker.

Communicating With Difficult People
One of the greatest challenges for any manager is to handle resistance and difficult people with grace and professionalism. Don't argue, let then vent, repeat back what they say so they know you get it - from Deborah Mackin of The Sideroad website

Five Ways to Influence Change in Others
Understand their perspective, acknowledge it, speak to their interests, recognise natural tendencies, be patient. 'People don't resist change, they resist being changed' – by Kevin Eikenberry - from the Sideroad website.

How to Handle Difficult People
Five choices for dealing with aggression, unsolicited advice, criticism or emotional blackmail. From counsellor Kevin FitzMaurice. Page also links to 25 Interpersonal Relational Styles – communicate better with insight into where individuals are coming from.

Team Development: The Four Stages of a Developing Team
Forming, storming, norming and performing.  A well-functioning team is always working on two objectives simultaneously: completing tasks and managing processes. When teams start to experience difficulty, it's typically because the tasks have moved ahead and the processes -- such as communication, role clarity, and decision making -- are breaking down.  By Deborah Macklin from The Sideroad.

















Workers compensation policy
International systems
Workers compensation history
Health professional policy issues