Back to work @PainConcern Audio




Proper treatment at the doctor level can lead to a productive return to work



This was a good program on working and pain.

Dame Carol Black talks about Good work. It is not just money. It is your environment, She said are you listened to, respected,trusted, have some autonomy and do they care about your health an wellbeing.

It is true it isn't about the money. We all want a job where we are respected and acknowledged. I recently, about 3-4 years ago, I worked in a bad working environment for me. It did increase my stress dramatically. That increased my pain. I was also made to feel guilty about my pain and ashamed and embarrassed. That I was failing everyone. Horrible things, that stuck in my head after they were said. So my self-esteem dropped as well. Felt like the weakest link that was about to be fired just because I was chronically ill. She make up lies to make me feel horrible;I'd go ask the person she said had a problem with me and my illness, and that person had no such issue.

So not being respected, not feeling in control, not caring about your health and wellbeing and certainly not listened to. Yeah I had to get out of there.

On the tape she continues to talk about how to get back to work. So you are on a leave get it extended. Your doctor is doing that for you. When really he should be asking are you ready to return to work and how will that work? It is about how do you enable that person with a chronic illness to particulate again. If you have been gone for 6 month, your possibility of returning to work goes down to 50% she said. Not to mention your skill sets rust. You work at a pain clinic using a multidisciplinary approach to enable them to manage their pain to prepare them to return.

Doctors should understand what they are doing first and foremost. For 10 years at work they would put me on short term leave and then back to work full time, then another leave, then back to work full time. It was the pain clinic that pointed out I have been pushing my limits and exceeding them and clearly it has not been working. I have not for 10 years functioned at work. No one helped me with it and no one advised me on it. Until the pain clinic said upfront you Cannot work full time.

so a) they think we ought to be disabled permanently and work towards how to do that and what should be done.
or b) they think we can work in some form. Explicitly tell us what they believe we can work and how to tell our employer that and how to go around achieving it.

I mean I spent Years going in and off short term leaves. Always how to get me back to work fulltime. Nothing about how I was working... as in what was the pain problem causing the issues at work. And the fact they would return. And what would be a solution to that.

People Want to go back to work. Because they believe they will be Helped. But they will not be helped if what happened to me happens to them. You go on leave, nothing happens and then you return to work. You go on another leave, they change and med, and then you back to work. Nothing fundamentally is changing about how you cope with the pain. We believe they will help us, but often they do not. Helping us is better if they send us to the pain clinic.


Square pegs in round holes are when they want to come back to work but it is the wrong job. Some of us have struggled and pushed that damn square into the hole and it never works. That is why I was impressed on my return discussing my options with work. The pain clinic said cannot work full-time but that helped me little in getting a part-time job. Work accommodated me.

When it comes to the treatment needed. When I was on long term leave I went to the neuro and the pain clinic for the first time. And physio and psychologist. But the wait time here, and apparently the UK, is Long. I was on leave due to pain and depression because of the pain. I was on leave until I could get the treatment I needed. So no, I could not have been off a short period of time for treatment and back to work. Not here. And that is a problem. You want people back to work. But you need them to have effective care in order to be able to do so.


However I like the concept of having this 'fit to work' program for returning to work and setting up a plan that both your employer and GP have access to. As long as it wasn't pushing to work people who could not. And then looking into why they could not seriously. You do need a program that says 'this isn't working for you' and 'why isn't it' and 'what do we do about that?' So in all likelihood something even more extensive than what they offer now.


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