If you live with chronic pain, you are not alone. There are over 50 million Americans dealing with the same thing. But chronic pain is different for everyone. It can be caused by anything from old injuries to conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, and cystitis. For some people it is relatively minor and easy to cope with, while for others it can be severe and extremely debilitating.
It can affect your life in many ways, from your social relationships and sex life to your ability to exercise and maintain your mental health. But it can also have an impact on your ability to work. Chronic pain results in 80 billion dollars of lost wages every single year. The pain may be too great for you to come into work, or you might have to take unplanned absences whenever you experience a flare up. This can create tension between workers and employers, as some bosses are not so understanding when it comes to their employees’ health.
So what can you do to make your work life easier when you have chronic pain, and avoid lost wages and reprimands from your boss? Here are three tips for managing your pain on the job.
Talk to your employer
You might feel reluctant to talk to your boss about your chronic pain, but if you want to make your life easier, this is the best thing you can do. Tell your boss about your symptoms and how it may affect your work. If your boss is understanding, you will be able to work with them about ways they can help you to cope while still getting your work done. Perhaps you can have a more flexible arrangement allowing you to work from home when needed. Or maybe it would help to have a more comfortable chair and desk arrangement. Whatever you need, you won’t be able to get help until you raise the issue. And if you’re worried your boss won’t like what you have to say, there are discrimination laws in palce that prevent them firing you because of a health condition.
Some people with health conditions tend to push themselves too far because they want to prove that their ailment doesn’t hold them back. But this can just worsen your symptoms as well as being harmful to your mental health. Make sure you look after yourself and take breaks when you need to. There is no harm in taking a few minutes out of your day to stand up, stretch, and have a walk around. You will feel much better and more productive once you return to your desk.
If your pain is too much for you to manage by yourself, you should seek help. Occupational health professionals and physiotherapists are the perfect source of advice and treatment for managing chronic pain and allowing you to get on with your life. There are also medications and other treatments available such as CBD pain reducing topical with cooling Menthol. Find a solution that works for you and remember to go easy on yourself.