Your Guide to Injury and Illness Recovery

News and Reviews

What experts are saying about the book:

“admirable” … “transforming lives” … “reassuring” … “outstanding [at] educating the reader” … “artfully crafted” … “much-needed wisdom” … “invaluable resource”


“Excellent resource for anyone facing, or helping others face, the challenge of recovering”

April 2014

“This book is an excellent resource for anyone facing, or helping others face, the challenge of recovering as fully as possible from an injury or illness. I was intrigued to see that the book is aimed at the general population, particularly individuals who have been injured, rather than at a group of professionals. In that respect, I think it addresses a real need, as I am not aware of any other book with a similar focus. It is well-written and quite comprehensive.”

“About transforming lives for the better”

April 2014

Living Abled & Healthy is about transforming lives for the better. Beyond the personal benefit of taking responsibility for our individual health and lifestyle choices, Living Abled… reminds us of our responsibility to care for one another. From homes to physician offices, work cubicles to boardrooms, Living Abled… should be required reading by everyone involved directly or indirectly in our healthcare delivery system.”

“Must read for everyone involved in worker’s compensation, including patients and lawyers” (Review in Workers’ Compensation Law Newsletter, Pennsylvania Bar Association, September 2014)

“Chris Brigham, MD, the AMA Guides expert, has authored a new book… His primary audience, meanwhile, is injured workers—that is, patients. The secondary audience includes all other stakeholders, e.g., lawyers, health care providers, claims professionals, fact finders, and employers. Living Abled & Healthy is intended specifically to encourage injured workers to focus on… being abled and not disabled.

“As far as I know, Dr. Brigham’s admirable and well-written book is quite unique in terms of subject and audience. It’s also quite comprehensive, treating all aspects of the experience an injured worker will likely undergo in the wake of an injury that has, in turn, given rise to a workers’ compensation insurance claim. The author’s goal is to “get this in the hands of all injured workers so they may experience better outcomes.”

“The author’s holistic treatment extends, pertinently, to the role of lawyers in the system. Dr. Brigham in this realm has recruited two thoughtful comp lawyers active on the national stage, Bob Aurbach and David DePaolo, to assist him on advising injured workers on such issues as when an attorney is needed, how to choose an attorney, and what to realistically expect out of the experience.

“The principal audience is injured worker patients, but as this recruitment of heavy-hitters suggests, Living Abled & Healthy is an education for all who labor in the workers’ compensation community. A young lawyer, or any lawyer new to the field, will expedite his or her sophistication about comp by reading Dr. Brigham’s book. In this regard, the author provides a major service in bringing together in one place a discussion of all of the issues and tensions surrounding our present-day disability systems, especially those of workers’ compensation.

“…By facilitating the reader’s exploration of all aspects of the disability experience, the workers’ compensation specialist will surely gain sophistication from a careful reading.”

“Leaves no sacred cow unscathed”

April 2014

“Thought provoking and controversial and leaves no sacred cow unscathed.”

“Worth the cost of the book a thousand times over”

April 2014

“I love the book. It puts forth a very important message everyone who deals with the disability system needs to hear—our disability system often inadvertently creates disability rather than curing what should be temporary medical injuries. Living Abled & Healthy explains the dynamics of the disability system extremely well. This book should be required reading for every medical student, insurance adjuster, lawyer, vocational rehabilitation counselor, and hearings officer!

“I treated workers’ compensation injuries for many years while practicing as an occupational medicine physician. During that time I came to understand many of the nefarious incentives pulling injured workers down the path from acute injury to permanent disability. Living Abled… has done a fantastic job of spelling out how this transformation can evolve despite the best of intentions of both the injured worker and the treating specialists. If this book prevents even one injured employee from becoming permanently disabled, it will be worth the cost of the book a thousand times over.”

“Wonderful and unprecedented user guide”

April 2014

Living Abled & Healthy is a wonderful and unprecedented user guide which tackles the enormous complexity of dealing with both one’s injury and potential disability along with the myriad variables of our various disability systems. It addresses the delicate human factors and motivators of various system players in refreshing candor, consistent with the authors’ ultimate goal of empowering all patients to take control of their situations and avoid becoming needlessly disabled. Everyone will learn from this enormous effort; it should become mandatory reading for those working within disability systems and those patients entering the minefield that these very systems can become!”

“A bible for anyone who really wants to be well.”

April 2014

“This book is a bible for anyone who really wants to be well.”

“A way out of the tunnel.”

April 2014

“Dr. Brigham and Henry Bennett have written a comprehensive and helpful book aimed at the person who has been mired in the complex world of workers’ compensation and disability and who feels overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, and afraid. By explaining how the system works and doesn’t work, how our bodies and minds function, and giving practical advice, the reader will find hope and useful tools to get their life back. Written with a deep knowledge of the compensation system, work injuries, and the latest in mind-body science, the authors point to a way out of the tunnel.”

“A guidance manual for all of us”

April 2014

Living Abled… is the first book I have ever read that speaks openly and honestly about the value of attitude, importance of nutrition, the concepts and perception of pain, and the tolerance and time required for a physical-mental-emotional body to heal.

“…To read [of] the importance of overall attitude and the need to place one’s focus on a positive future outcome, to read [of] the direction of not settling for a diagnosis that is less than tolerable, all leads me to say that Living Abled… is a guidance manual for all of us within the illness and injuries industries to help those who come to us for help.”

“…That hole has been filled.”

April 2014

“Some people ‘get it’ better when they see it in print. Some people give more credibility to something that has been published. To date there have been few resources to encourage and empower injured people to take an active role in their own recovery. That ‘hole’ has been filled.

Living Abled & Healthy by Dr. Christopher Brigham is the culmination of many years of experience and development by an occupational physician who has struggled with how to communicate with his patients effectively for many years.

“His patient encouragement comes through like the voice of a wise friend. The conversational tone and avoidance of technical language allows accessibility to those who do not necessarily enjoy reading. The message is clear and consistent—take responsibility for your recovery and you can retake control over your life.

“This would have been a great message even if that was all there was. The book is also loaded with practical advice. Dr. Brigham has used a lifetime of experience to help injured people learn how to communicate with their physicians, ask questions, and make informed decisions about their care. He discusses this in simple and helpful terms.

“This is not just a book about medicine. Dr. Brigham has brought together several valued colleagues from other disciplines to talk about the phases of a claim that they know and understand. The contributors discuss their topics in terms that someone unfamiliar with compensation systems can understand and use. Lawyers, pain specialists, claims managers, and others have added their best advice. The clear communications style, practical advice, and empowering message stay consistent throughout.

“The overall message of the ability to take control over one’s own recovery will help both injured workers and those of us who occasionally struggle with how to empower an injured person, to better participate in their own recovery.”

“Must read for every player/participant in the ‘system’”

April 2014

“Knowledge, combined with consistent positive coaching, is extremely powerful.

“The words, advice, and teaching will go a long way in helping to educate people dealing with the maze of the health care non-system to achieve the best possible outcome.

“It is important to get this book into the hands of those that need it most: people in the midst of trying to sort out the path to take following an injury or dealing with an illness. Unfortunately, until a person is in that position, they may not realize the potency of this book.

“This book is also a must read for every player/participant in the ‘system’ including patients, physicians, adjusters, attorneys and adjudicators.… A powerful tool to limit disability and maximize recovery, function and meaning in life.”

“Urgently challenge providers and patients to reform their thinking about the whole person”

April 2014

“Everyone is familiar with the concept of work-life balance. Yet, in our healthcare system, the “work” part is dramatically underweighted. Every day, thousands of physician-patient encounters end without a single consideration of the effects of the injury or illness on employment and productivity. The results of this negligence are tragic. The authors boldly call out the perverse incentives, bureaucracy, and misinformation that plague “disability,” and urgently challenge providers and patients to reform their thinking about the whole person—fully incorporating the reality that one’s occupation is fundamental to physical and emotional health.”

“Navigates the reader through important ways of recovering from injury and illness . . . Dr. Brigham’s Living Abled & Healthy is a long-needed and updated primer that is a “must read” for all those interested in illness, disability and successful recovery.”

May 2015

Living Abled & Healthy… navigates the reader through important ways of recovering from injury and illness, as well as … with the often complex world of the workers’ compensation system.

“Dr. Brigham’s long and distinguished history of working in this system as an occupational physician makes him an ideal mentor for this navigational journey.

“Dr. Brigham does an outstanding job of educating the reader about these above complexities, as well as making the reader aware of the importance of uniquely evaluating each patient in a compassionate manner, while assessing possible “barriers to recovery” that are preventing the disabled workers to feel “whole and healthy” so they can get on with the next phase of their lives.… These solutions / recommendations cover a wide array of positive, well-documented strategies such as: why working is important; keeping our body, mind and spirit healthy in a holistic manner; inappropriate terms to avoid such as it is “all in your head”; how to recognize and better interact with the major stakeholders in a claim; and the importance of perceived control and empowerment.…

“Dr. Brigham’s Living Abled & Healthy is a long-needed and updated primer that is a “must-read” for all those interested in illness, disability and successful recovery. It is … written in a language which will be easily understood by both patients and healthcare professionals.…

“Both patients and the important stakeholders in the field will find this book to be an invaluable resource for the significant and humane decisions that need to be made.”

book link: Living Abled and Healthy

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