Injuries and recovery

Military service is physically and mentally demanding, so when you leave the ADF you may have a physical injury. A range of veteran-specific services and support are available from DVA to help you get on with a healthy and active civilian life.

Time to read: 4 minutes

You aren’t defined by your injuries

Physical injuries can limit what you do in your day-to-day life, but they also have a psychological impact. Injuries can change the way you think about yourself.

How you think of yourself with an injury may limit you more than the injury itself.

If you have a physical injury, it’s important that you don’t let it define who you are: you are more than your injuries.

Improve your mindset

One way to improve your mindset is to make the most of what you can do. Find exercises that you can do during recovery, rather than dwelling on exercises that you can’t do. This will help you stay focused and positive. Set short-term activity or exercise-related goals. Short-term goals are the steppingstones to long-term goals.

Your health professional can help you develop a physical activity plan that accounts for the physical and mental aspects of your recovery.

Open Arms counselling can assist in managing the mental challenges that can set in when recovering from an injury, and dealing with pain. Open Arms also run a group program on Managing Pain, that concludes with a personally developed Pain Plan.

To find out if Managing pain is right for you, call Open Arms on 1800 011 046.

RECOGNISE

Roy's story...

Roy was pretty devastated when medically discharged with osteoarthritis in his feet just 18 months after joining the Army.

"Due to my injury, I can’t do things that other 29-year-old dads can. Running and kicking a ball at the park are out of the picture. So instead, we do other activities together that put as little pressure on my feet as possible like swimming, going to the movies, four-wheel driving and camping."

Read Roy's full story here.

Find a health professional

To find health providers in your community for treatment and recovery of your injury, visit https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/australian-health-services.

Support services

As a former member of the ADF, you may be eligible for support services specifically designed for the veteran community.

The DVA Rehabilitation program* can develop a rehabilitation plan tailored to suit your physical needs.

The DVA exercise physiology service* provides an individualised exercise program that addresses your condition.

The Veteran Health Check identifies the early onset of any physical or mental health conditions you may be experiencing, and provides treatment or refers you to other services.

* Eligibility for these programs is dependent on having an accepted claim for specified conditions with DVA. If you have been medically discharged or have a service-related injury, claim early through Myservice. The earlier you submit your claim, the sooner you can access dedicated programs for veterans.