Work and Pain
There are many challenges to keeping a job while in pain. Millions of people struggle daily to maintain a job in spite of chronic pain. It can be near impossible to find the motivation and energy required to work while experiencing intense pain and fatigue. It is normal to feel fear and anxiety, and common to be unsure how to communicate difficulties to colleagues and employers.
Your Physical Work Environment
Modifications to your physical work environment or the actual design of your job are likely a necessity to staying employed. Do all that you can to see that your workstation is properly designed. Your doctor can be a great resource for generating ideas and solutions to common problems in the work space to minimize pain. You may need to request that assistive devices be installed or made available.
There are many products on the market that you may not be aware of that could benefit you. If you are in a position to ask for help from colleagues for assistance in tasks that involve increased physical demands, remember to ask politely despite the irritations that the pain causes.
Accommodations for Work
Your medical team is one of your assets when exploring work accommodations. Not all accommodations are feasible. However, you may be pleasantly surprised at the wide variety of accommodations that may be applicable and doable in your work setting to keep you out of pain.
Modifications may include reduced hours, time off for medical care, job-sharing options or flexible hours. It may mean a change in your duties where feasible. Modifications could mean working from home, even if only some of the time, particularly during the time of day the pain is at its worst. Other modifications may include increased breaks for stretching or a quiet room where you can rest, meditate or exercise.
It is important to take care of yourself to keep your pain at work to a minimum. That means at times, you must put yourself first if you are to last the day. It is very important to remember to pace yourself at work. Be sure to keep care plan medications and self-care items available. Set your phone alarm to check in with yourself for self-care. Make sure you are taking care of yourself in a timely manner, such as taking pain medications, stretching breaks, eating properly, engaging in relaxation and stress management techniques, drinking plenty of water and sleeping properly. Prepare your wellness strategies in advance for success in your workplace.
Work the Plan
Employment is often a large part of our self-identity. Work, when you are in pain, is not always possible. Learning strategies to cope with pain can be a lifesaver. Using proactive pain management strategies and seeking support from your medical team can decrease negative workplace outcomes. Take some time with your support team to come up with a plan. Do not work in more pain than you must. Contact Medici Spine and Pain today to get your personalized plan in action.
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