Case studies

From musculoskeletal support, physiotherapists extend their care to chronic health impacts, like heart disease and diabetes, and the lesser-known pelvic floor issues men face. Physiotherapists are experts in helping to reduce the alarmingly common health and safety issues associated with working in labour intensive industries, preventing injury and also getting people back to work quickly. Below are some case studies that highlight how physio has helped people return to work and get their life back on track.

Tim’s story

Tim is a mechanical fitter from WA. He was working on the differential of a front-end loader when he injured his chest and bicep trying to crack the sump plug. He felt immediate pain across his chest and used ice packs to help manage the pain, but continued to work. A few days later severe bruising developed, so he decided to seek medical help. He was diagnosed with a ruptured pectoral muscle, which required surgery to reattach the muscle and tendon to the bone. The surgeon recommended regular physiotherapy as his post-surgery rehab treatment, which Tim did two or three times a week for almost three months. His physiotherapist helped him incorporate some modified work tasks into his rehab program so that he could return to work in a reduced capacity during his recovery. Tim has now fully recovered and is back working to his full, pre-injury work duties.

Rowan’s story

Rowan has been a plumber for 40 years and refers to his clinical Pilates classes as his ‘health insurance paid for by his health insurance’. While he was initially sceptical about the classes, his daughter Lauren, a physiotherapist, convinced him to give it a go. Now a regular participant, Rowan says Pilates has helped him keep strong and manage his back pain, allowing him to work manually in his 60s with very few complaints.

Rob’s story

Rob works as a hydrocarbon and energy coordinator for a mining company in Western Australia. After undergoing an ACL reconstruction in 2015, Rob worked with his site physiotherapist to get back to work as soon as possible. Rob returned to work on restricted duties three weeks after the operation. By five weeks, he was doing split squats in the site gym. ‘My physio guided me in a way that presented information and rehab strategies as a challenge to building my health, rather than suffering a low point in my life.’