How to Find Pain Relief in the Workplace
Life doesn’t stop for pain. Even though it hurts, many of us still have to work. You may not have an option to stay at home. With the right strategies, though, you can relieve pain throughout the day, even while on the job.
At your workplace, where do you spend a majority of your time? At a desk? At a cash register? Or on the go? If you are fairly stationary, your workstation should be custom designed for your needs. The chair should fit you, the computer monitor should be adjusted to you, and everything you reach for frequently should be close to you. A well-designed workstation will minimize the strain of repetitive movements and eliminate sustained, awkward postures.
What if you are on the go most of the time? If you are on your feet, wear the best shoes you can afford. Bad shoes will cause pain. Also, consider trying shoe inserts. If you are in a vehicle, adjust the car seat to fit you, including the headrest, backrest, seat and pedal distance. Spending the money or taking the time to make sure you are as comfortable as possible while at work will pay off in the form of pain relief and continued income.
What do you do at break time? Some people use the time to exercise. Exercising during your workday is especially important if you have a sedentary job. Stretching and walking are great ways to provide some balance in your sedentary life. Additionally, balancing out a stressful job with relaxation is equally important because pressure will continue to build and may eventually boil over. By doing some relaxing activities during your break, such as deep breathing, visualization or meditation, you can relieve the stress and pressure throughout your work day. In fact, break time is really "balance time." Without balance, a pain cycle will just continue to be fed by unhealthy stress and habits.
Pain is also likely to get worse if you are not eating well and staying hydrated throughout your work day. Consuming sugary foods, carbohydrates, caffeine, and artificial chemicals throughout the day will likely trigger pain. Dehydration leads to dizziness, lightheadedness and muscle pain. Avoid break room snacks by bringing your own nutritious foods and drink plenty of water.
Even these simple strategies aren’t always enough. At times, you might need a medication to keep going. If you do need medications, such as an NSAID or an opioid, keep them safely secured at your work place. Don’t discuss your medications with your co-workers. If you need to take a pill a couple of times during the work day, talk with your doctor. Frequent use of medications can lead to more problems and pain.
Pain does not have to keep you from working. In fact, employment can be beneficial because it serves as a distraction, gives your life a sense of meaning, and keeps food on the table. By evaluating your work conditions, making good use of your break times, fueling your body properly, and using medications wisely, you can continue working even if you are experiencing pain.