Sep 6, 2018 | Spotlight On, Written by Leki | 0 comments


Hanaf injured his R shoulder at work lifting heavy things overhead repetitively in Jan 2018. He works in a factory in West Melbourne which manufactures all sorts of electronic goods.

That’s right, Hanaf got injured at work.

It happens all the time but a lot of people are unsure of the right protocol to follow when you get injured at the workplace.

I have published a short video and blog post about Workcover to help you understand how it works. Check it out here.

So what did Hanaf do as soon as he got injured?

He reported his injury straight away to his immediate supervisor. (Keep in mind this is Hanaf’s first real injury ever and has never been on Workcover before!)

The supervisor then organised an appointment with the in-house physio and workplace Doctor to help Hanaf with his pain.

After 3 months of in-house management the treating Doctor referred Hanaf to a specialist for an opinion on the management of his shoulder injury as it was not improving.

The GP had certified light duties at work via a certificate of capacity (Workcover document informing the workplace of Hanaf’s capacity for work given his shoulder injury).

The certificate of capacity stated that Hanaf was able to work his full hours (35 hours per week) but with a maximum lift capacity of 5kgs. That’s light duties.

At 6 months of in-house management Hanaf decided to seek a second opinion and decided to see his local family Doctor who then referred Hanaf to ProPhysio+.

It was now July 2018, 6 months after his injury that Hanaf presented to ProPhysio+ and he described how frustrated he was with the whole process so far. His shoulder pain was still limiting him not only at work but also with his home life.

Can you imagine not having your R shoulder out of action for more then 6 months? I’d be frustrated as well!

So we followed the ProPhysio+ Process and completed all the necessary Workcover paperwork.

I then called the insurance company and Hanaf’s workplace to introduce myself as the new treating physio.

I discussed with Hanaf what our plan of attack will be now that he’s 6 months post injury. I described how our physio management will differ at this point in time compared to if he has just injured his shoulder.

Basically we would start from scratch and this was all explained and completed at our very first physio appointment.

At our follow up session I began to describe what our primary goals would be.

He had movement problems limited by tightness > pain.

His sleep was affected by aching and irritability at night which suggests inflammatory pain.

Hanaf has been avoiding using the shoulder completely more so out of fear rather then pain which means his shoulder is getting weaker and deconditioned each day.

This is where the education began.

You see soft tissue injuries (muscles, ligaments and tendons) heal relatively quickly. Most within 12 weeks/3 months at most.

Hanaf was 6 months post injury and his shoulder scans (Xray and MRI scans) shows a small rotator cuff muscle tears with bursitis (swollen shoulder sac of lubricant/fluid).

So you would think that after 6 months of light duties things should be stable and improving. The opposite was the case! He was getting worse.

Into the next 3 sessions we worked on improving Hanaf’s shoulder range with some manual techniques (massage, joint movements and rehabilitation exercises).

He had gone from only being able to lift his R shoulder to 90 degrees or shoulder height to being above his head within 2 weeks!


Because we listened and prescribed specific rehabilitation exercises to assist his recovery.

Instead of giving generic strengthening work we found which specific areas were weak and prescribed a progressive exercise program to help rehabilitate his shoulder.

He has been at ProPhysio+ for 6 weeks now and has 90% of his movement back and we’ve organised approval from the insurance company to pay for an independent 3 month gym and swim program at the local leisure centre (AquaPulse in Hoppers Crossing).
Although Hanaf has made some great gains in only 6 weeks with his rehab there are still some issues we are working together on.

Keep an eye out for the next update on Hanaf’s health journey where we’ll give you a real account of how everyday people are trying to be healthy!

Hope you found this helpful!

“Keep Healthy Simple”