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The CRPS and Work blog has been kindly written by Katya Halsall. Katya was 1 of Burning Nights’ speakers at the 2nd Annual Conference in Manchester on 10th September 2016.

Katya gave tips and spoke about getting back to work when you have a chronic condition like Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). This is Katya’s Blog…

CRPS and Work

I was excited to be invited by Irwin Mitchell to talk at the 2nd Burning Nights CRPS Support annual national CRPS conference in September 2016.

Burning Nights is a charity dedicated to increasing the awareness of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and it offers support to people suffering from CRPS:

CRPS is a complicated condition that affects people in many different ways. Some people fully recover, whilst others have symptoms that flare up with painful regularity but without pattern or notice. Some people experience degenerative symptoms that progressively worsen over time. The main CRPS symptom is pain, which can be both severe and debilitating.

As a Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant and a Director Voc-Rehab UK (Eclectic Human Solutions Ltd), I work with clients who suffer from a wide range of health conditions and I provide them with the support that is needed to enable them to make a return to the workplace.

Whilst CRPS is a debilitating condition but it should not prevent a person who wants to return to work to be able to do so, and I was asked to outline how this could happen, using my vocational rehabilitation experience.

 Vocational rehabilitation support is not based on a medical diagnosis,

but on the individual’s functional abilities and limitations.

This means that vocational rehabilitation is suited for those people who want and are able to consider returning to work and who accept that their medical diagnosis is useful for workplace awareness.

People who are diagnosed with CRPS may very well be able to engage in vocational rehabilitation and return to work, with the appropriate support.

As the access to a Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant may not be available to everyone, I wanted to share some tips with those people who want to return to work and who want start the process independently. My aim was to empower my audience and offer some guidance as to things to consider and where to start.

There are a few different considerations depending on whether the individual is still employed or not.

CRPS and Work | Back to work drawing | (c) Eclectic Human Solutions


Consider the following:

  • Communicating your needs to your employer
  • Be open about your strengths and limitations
  • Learn to disclose your health condition in a positive way
  • Request workplace adjustments
  • Devise a Workplace Health Condition Management Plan and use it with your employer
  • Research for relevant resources such as Access to Work, Disability Rights and the Equality Act 2010


How can you identify an alternative suitable career if you are unable to work in your pre-illness / pre-injury work? Take your time to consider the following:

  • Evaluate your education and work history
  • Make list of your abilities, skills and strengths
  • Make a list of what makes you unique as a person
  • Identify your preferred job families
  • Decide what kind of work you want, for example, paid / volunteer / part-time
  • Do your gap analysis: establish what do you need to learn to achieve your career goals
  • Prepare an action plan


Looking for a job is a full time job. This is a great journey and you will have both, exciting discoveries and some disappointments as well ups and downs along the way. To prepare for this journey, these tips may be useful:

  • Aim for the best you can
  • Be realistic about your abilities and limitations
  • Develop coping strategies
  • Communicate your needs and wants
  • Ask for help and advice
  • Never ever give up
  • Expect set backs
  • Take small steps
  • Keep big outcome in mind

For more information, please read my blog “KNOW HOW”: Returning to Work After Injury or Illness

Good luck!

Katya Halsall, CDMP


Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant

Sickness Absence Manager

Mathesons Trained Functional Capacity Evaluator

Eclectic Human Solutions


T:   01942 375 880

M: 07854 174 683



 Facebook: Eclectic Human Solutions

Twitter: @HalsallKatya / @EHS_VocRehab

Connect with me on LinkedIn

Thank You so much Katya for this excellent blog about CRPS and Work! Thank You as well for speaking at our 2nd Annual National Conference in Manchester. If you have any questions about getting back to work or wanting to get back to work while living with CRPS or other chronic conditions, please either get in touch with Katya on any of the above contact details or contact ourselves and we will pass on your questions. 

Written: 21/09/2016

Last Updated: 26/02/2018

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