Active Recovery Clinics program for soft tissue injuries delivers results

Last updated on June 7, 2023 
We’ve partnered with the Navigator Group’s Active Recovery Clinics (ARC) evidence-based recovery plan to deliver outstanding return-to-work outcomes for injured workers in NSW. Here’s how this holistic program works.
A middle-aged woman sitting on a yoga mat and looking at a laptop computer screen to start rehab exercises.

Workplace injuries happen in different ways and affect individuals with varying degrees of severity, which means each worker’s recovery journey will have different needs. A tailored recovery approach is a good way to meet specific needs. For those affected by deep tissue injuries, our new customised recovery program is proving very successful at helping injured workers get back to work.

The ARC program is a specialised, 12-week treatment plan that assists workers with musculoskeletal injuries, including those to the shoulder, knees, hips, ankles, and back. Musculoskeletal injuries include conditions that affect the joints, bones, and muscles.

We started onboarding workers from our NSW corporate clients in late 2022 and the results speak for themselves.

The program received 36 Allianz referrals between September and December 2022. All these injured workers were certified to be either completely unfit for work or fit for some duties but working at reduced capacity.

From these referrals, 25 injured workers were considered suitable to take part in the treatment plan. They all completed the program and successfully recovered enough to return to work. One participant who had been unable to work for 18 months was able to return to their role after finishing the 12-week ARC treatment program. They returned to their role part time, with a reduced lifting limit.

“For participants who were out of work for such a long time, it really is a phenomenal outcome,” says Nadine Sivyer, Allianz Return to Work Manager.

Nadine Sivyer
Nadine Sivyer
Return to Work Manager

The ARC program is based on the principle that injured workers need a holistic approach to recovery with a team to facilitate it. Run by the Navigator Group, the program brings together a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare specialists such as sports medicine physicians, psychologists, and physiotherapists to customise a recovery plan.

Participants undergo a 12-week recovery journey and regularly attend a clinic. The program is completely optional, with participants choosing to opt-in if they believe it will help with their rehabilitation. Crucially, the program is tailored to each individual’s needs and encourages them to play an active role in their recovery.

Workers selected for the program use a digital platform called SWORD Phoenix. Using a tablet equipped with sensors, they complete home-based exercises tailored to their specific needs. The platform can measure and analyse the exercises they perform, providing on-demand, in-home support at every step of their recovery journey.

Participants visit the clinic every four weeks to speak with their specialists and to have their exercise results assessed. They then have their program further tailored to their recovery needs depending on their progress.

“The program really stands out for its holistic approach and because it’s customised to the individual’s recovery journey,” Nadine says. “Plus, it has that self-managed component, so participants are empowered to take ownership of their own rehabilitation.”

Nadine adds that because the program is run in tandem with counselling support, psychological or psychosocial barriers to recovery can be identified upfront. Qualified mental health professionals provide regular mental health and wellbeing support to address barriers to recovery during the acute phase of each participant’s injury.

This aspect of the program helps to address issues that are really impacting an individual’s ability to return to work, so they’re better placed to holistically return to physical, psychological, and social health.

The ARC treatment program takes best-practice rehabilitation protocols and enhances them by using cutting-edge technology. According to the Navigator Group, it uses “world-leading injury rehabilitation technology” in its ARC clinics as well as “state-of-the-art in-home tech to offer quick and convenient recovery from the comfort of your own home.”

Nadine says making those sophisticated rehabilitation tools available to injured workers both in the clinic and at home is fundamental to the program’s success. So too is giving participants access to a support team of experienced health clinicians who can track their recovery progress and adapt their treatment as needed.

Having already offered the program to a number of NSW corporate clients, Allianz has extended this offering to NSW government agencies to refer their workers into the program.

“We’ve been really pleased with the success of the program so far,” Nadine says. “I have every confidence it will continue to play an important role in supporting workers who’ve sustained musculoskeletal injuries return to the workplace sooner. In doing so, they can get their life back on track, achieve their health and work goals, and be provided with the tools to independently manage any symptoms into the future.” 

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