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When working with chronic pain is a reality

She's working with chronic pain

Are you working with chronic pain? How can you hold down a job? Let’s look at your options.

Chronic aches and discomfort can get in the way of many people’s day-to-day lives. It could affect your ability to hold down a job, specifically one that causes more strain on the area that is causing you pain. That said, it is possible to stay employed with a chronic pain condition. Below are a few tips for managing chronic pain while holding down a job.

Talk to your employer about working with chronic pain

Some people choose to hide their chronic pain condition from their employer or colleagues. There are instances where this may benefit you, such as trying to get a promotion. However, you should be realistic about how successfully you can hide the pain.

If it’s likely that you’ll have to take days off because of your pain, you should probably inform your employer so that they are more sympathetic to your condition. An employer may be able to accommodate your needs better, such as allowing you to work from home when your pain is bad. Or, they could assign you certain roles that don’t exacerbate the pain as much.

Explore different forms of pain relief

Finding forms of relief could help you significantly. Explore different options out there, such as over-the-counter medicine, herbal medicine, and treatments such as massages and acupuncture.

But always get your doctor’s approval first. Also, make sure that these forms of pain relief don’t interfere with your work. For example, if a certain form of herbal relief makes you sleepy and you need to be alert for work, it may not be the right solution.

New and unusual forms of pain relief are constantly being introduced to the market. This could include trying floatation therapy or visiting a ketamine infusion clinic. Consider whether it’s worth trying some of these alternative forms of pain relief to see if they make a difference.

Working with chronic pain? Take the time to de-stress

Stress increases inflammation, which can worsen many forms of chronic pain, such as joint pain and muscular pain. Migraine sufferers can also be triggered by stress.

Those who have lupus also commonly experience flare-ups after stressful events. In other words, try to avoid stress where possible.

Work-related pressure and the anxiety stemming from it affect many people. If you can’t avoid the stress, the next best thing you can do is to take measures to destress afterward.

This could include meditating, exercising, or listening to music to help calm yourself down. These activities could reduce chronic pain flare-ups and keep you able to work.

Know when it’s time for a career change

You may have to accept that there are some jobs that you cannot do with your condition. For instance, if you get crippling back pain, a job that involves lots of lifting may not be a suitable one.

You may be able to transfer to roles within the same job that doesn’t cause as much pain. However, in some cases, a career change might be the better option. If your pain is caused by movement, consider whether a sedentary job would suit you better.

It could be a desk job or a driving job. If these jobs cause you pain, something more active may be a better fit instead.

2 thoughts on “When working with chronic pain is a reality”

  1. It is best to be truthful about chronic pain when it comes to work. Sometimes, as you mentioned, a change in career might be necessary.

  2. Hi Christy, I have lived with chronic neck and back pain most of my working life. I see a physiotherapist every week which helps a lot and I try to exercise three times a week. I also do stretches and exercises every morning.

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