Return to work with Body Smart Health

Injuries at work can happen to anyone, with 3.5% of Australians who work getting injured each year, and 66% of injured workers requiring time off work, it is crucial to ensure an optimal recovery to reduce pain, regain function, return to work and not re-injure. (

Workplace Rehabilitation:

Here at Body Smart Health we are best placed to provide workplace rehabilitation to workers under the WorkCover scheme. Our state of the art clinics incorporate a large selection of exercise equipment, and with our highly skilled team of Exercise Physiologists, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists all working together under the same roof, we can ensure a seamless patient centred approach to a successful return to work from a workplace injury.

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) continue to be the most prevalent work health and safety concern within the Australian workforce. Research shows from 2009 to 2014, 60% of serious workers’ compensation claims were for WMSDs, The most common cause of injury or illness was ‘Lifting, pushing, pulling or bending’ (24%). followed by slips, trips and falls. (Oakman, J., Clune, S. & Stuckey, R., (2019). Work-related musculoskeletal disorders in Australia, 2019. Canberra: Safe Work Australia).



Physiotherapists are often involved right from the initial management phase. Alongside your GP and other specialists involved, they help diagnose work related injuries, and assess the functional deficits related to the injury to guide the injury management process. Your physio will help you understand your injuries, and the recovery process, as well as help link you in with other health professionals who may be needed throughout your recovery journey including Exercise Physiologists, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, and Specialists.  

During the early stages of your recovery, your Physiotherapist can help you with pain management strategies to aid throughout your day, as well as provide some relieving manual therapy techniques during your appointment where appropriate. They use exercise prescription to help you regain your range of movement, strength and functional capacity while allowing the tissues to heal and recover. We work with you to address your needs and concerns with ultimate focus on a successful return to your full and unrestricted work duties. 


Exercise Physiologists:

Exercise Physiologists can be included from early management, through to mid and late stage rehabilitation as the worker begins to shift more towards improving functional capacity for a successful return to work. Exercise Physiologists perform an in depth assessment process. They gain a thorough understanding of your physical work requirements, and utilise movement screens as well as measures of strength and physical capacity to understand your current condition before devising an individualised plan to aid in the recovery of the work injury.  

The main goal of the Exercise Physiologist is to ensure the workers strength & functional capacity are at an optimal level for a return to work and to reduce likelihood of reinjury.

Exercise Physiologists liaise with GPs, case managers, return to work coordinators and other Allied Health professionals involved in the workers care.

The national return to work strategy 2020-2030 by Safe Work Australia reports more than 500,000 Australian workers sustain work-related injury or disease annually at an estimated economic cost of $61.8 billion. 



Occupational Therapy:

Occupational Therapists play a diverse role in managing work related injuries and can be involved through all stages of the recovery process. Occupational Therapists can assess, and rehabilitate injuries to regain the function required to perform your occupation. They can explore strategies to modify both activities and environments to allow maximum engagement in required occupations.

Occupational Therapists can head to your workplace to perform a worksite analysis to determine both risks to prevent future injuries, and identify barriers to your return to work so that they can devise solutions in collaboration with you, your employer, and the greater healthcare team. This can include task analysis, workplace modifications, assistive technology, rehabilitation and more! 


Our integrated care approach:

Having your Allied Health team work under the same roof improves your experience of care, with efficient communication, seamless collaboration, and coordinated treatment plans, we aim to make the recovery process as effective as possible. Together we can help facilitate a faster return to work, and a less stressful recovery process.

Body Smart Health prides itself on providing the highest outcomes and experiences for all of its clients and our coordinated approach to work injuries is among the best in Queensland. To get started, see your GP and ask if you can receive a referral to a Body Smart Health Physiotherapist, Exercise Physiologist and/or Occupational Therapist through Work Cover. Make a booking and don’t forget to bring in your referral, medical certificate and any other relevant reports or information to help us plan your recovery processes. 


Most of our clients will see one of our Physiotherapists first, to help understand the injury and guide early management, but if you already have a physiotherapist, you can still make the booking to see our Exercise Physiology and Occupational Therapy team.


About the Authors: 


David Gahan is an accredited Exercise Physiologist and is based out of our Ipswich clinic. While he sees a varied caseload, he has significant experience managing workplace injuries and return to work planning. 

Chris Hitchins is a senior Physiotherapist based in Cleveland. Chris sees a varied caseload including sports & musculoskeletal injuries, as well as neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions.

If you would like to make an initial appointment with any of our available Physiotherapists or Exercise Physiologists, you can contact us on 1300 630 204 or email