Managing Pain at Work
Managing Pain at Work. The sixth in a series of ten articles from the book, Pain Management by Robert Hoffman.
Tips to Manage Pain While At Work
If you have been a member of the workforce for quite a while now, the chances are that you have already developed pain and discomfort in different parts of your body. With more years ahead that you still need to work to earn a living, you might be wondering how long you can bear the suffering from these pains.
The good thing is, there are things you can do to cope with the pain, while at work and away from it. These will help you streamline your day at the workplace and help you feel less discomfort during your day. This will also help you to be more productive, as it is hard to do your best work when in pain!
Use Ergonomic Tools
Ergonomic tools are designed to make you feel comfortable while doing tasks in the workplace. They are also meant to help prevent work-related injuries. The ergonomic tools you need will depend on the kind of work you are doing. For instance, when you have a desk job, this is all about finding the right keyboard, desk, mouse, mousepad, and chair.
An ergonomic chair helps you maintain the correct posture while sitting, as it provides the right curve for your spine. This will help you manage and prevent lower back pain. Ergonomic chairs also often have a headrest, which can ease your neck and shoulder pain.
Mechanical keyboards are ergonomic keyboards that make it more comfortable to type. It requires less pressure, so soft touches on the keys are enough. You can also find an ergonomic mouse, which takes the proper shape of the hand. These tools help prevent fatigue and wrist and finger pain, which can often lead to RSI and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Take Breaks and Change Position From Time To Time
Much of the pain that you feel at the workplace can be because of the sedentary nature of your work. If you spend your entire shift sitting on your chair in front of your computer, you will feel aches in your back, knees, hands, and more.
To manage your pain, avoid prolonged inactivity. Change position from time to time, and move around at least every 30 minutes. Take around five minutes to walk, even just up and down the aisle of your workplace. Doing so will increase your blood flow properly and keep your joints and muscles working as they should.
Pick the Right Shoes
Many workplaces require certain types of footwear, such as high heels, as part of the dress code. However, when your shoes are not comfortable, it can lead to leg, knee, and ankle pain. To address this, make sure that as much as you are allowed, you pick the right shoes for you.
This means that they fully support your feet and have ample room for your toes. If high heels are not a requirement, wear flats instead, preferably with adequate arch support.
Reduce Stress Levels
We all suffer from work-related stress at some point or another – be it an overly demanding client, an uncooperative co-worker, a difficult boss, or an unreasonable workload. All these can exacerbate your chronic pain, affecting your productivity and satisfaction with your work environment.
That said, it is important to keep your stress levels at the minimum. Identify the sources of any repeated stressors and seek a solution, rather than simply accepting the situation. This can include talking to the involved person or shifting your focus from the things that you can’t control, to those you can. If you have accrued leave, take some time away to rest, relax, and recharge.
Mind Your Posture
Poor posture is one of the major culprits of work-related pain and discomfort, and if you’re suffering from chronic pain, slouching and sitting improperly can exacerbate your condition. They can put uneven pressure and strain on the muscles around the spine, causing back pain.
It is important to practice good posture at work to maintain the natural shape of your spine. When sitting, your back should be properly aligned, with your feet flat on the floor. Your table should also be of the proper height, and your computer monitor should be at your eye level to prevent eye strain, neck pains, and headaches.
No Joy in Pain
Pain can be a debilitating thing to have to endure at work. It can hinder you from doing your job effectively, which can add to your stress, further exacerbating your condition. With proper pain management, you should be able to reduce or even eliminate your pain. This will have positive flow-on effects for every area of your life and your health.