Chronic pain is insidious. It interferes with almost every aspect of your life including time with your family, recreation and, of course, work. For most people, the way that chronic pain and stress cuts into work productivity is the most problematic. If it prevents you from doing your best on the job, then that can mean less take-home pay, missed promotions, or even job termination.
If you want to know some of the most effective pain management techniques to maintain or boost work productivity, here are some proven strategies:
- Stress management—Your job is likely to be one of the most stressful aspects of your life, and stress is often a trigger for a pain episode. Modify your life—both at and outside of work—to minimize stress, so that you can keep a firm grip on your emotions and minimize the possibility of a flare-up. Pain management strategies like massage, yoga or music therapy can help you attain a stress-free mentality that will remain with you in the workplace.
- Healthy living—If you are like most people, you are often too busy to properly eat and exercise. However, if you make an investment in proper meals and regular exercise, you will find that it is time well spent. Avoiding foods high in fat or sugar can help you lose weight, feel better and control your pain symptoms. Regular exercise will promote the production of natural painkillers and better sleep, while alleviating pain conditions like inflammation and muscle tension that may inhibit work productivity.
- Manage your work environment—Whether you work with your hands or in front of a computer, there are probably a host of ways that you could put less stress on your body and minimize the risk of a pain episode. If you are often at your desk, try to maintain good posture, take breaks and employ ergonomic tools. If you do a lot of lifting, stretch out first, use correct form, and use the proper equipment.
- Discuss your situation with your manager—You may feel uncomfortable bringing up your health issues with your boss, especially if you think it may compromise your position in the company or sound like an excuse for slacking off, but in the long run it may help extend your stay with them. You may learn how valuable you are and that the management team is willing to go the extra mile to make you more comfortable. If you need to take time off due to your condition, it is better that your employer is prepared for it.
- Work from home—If your job allows it, you may want to consider telecommuting. You may be able to complete as much work or, even, more from the comfort of your home, where you are likely to have greater access to home remedies and medications. Furthermore, you can avoid the stress and discomfort of sitting in your car for the long commute every day.
If you want to learn more or make an appointment with a pain specialist at Colorado Pain Care, please contact us at one of our locations.
Article written by: Dr. Robert Moghim – CEO/Founder Colorado Pain Care
M.D. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the personal views of Robert Moghim, M.D. and do not necessarily represent and are not intended to represent the views of the company or its employees. The information contained in this article does not constitute medical advice, nor does reading or accessing this information create a patient-provider relationship. Comments that you post will be shared with all visitors to this page. The comment feature is not governed by HIPAA and you should not post any of your private health information.