Working with Pain

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Going to work when you have a chronic pain-causing condition is an achievement in and of itself, made worse with certain types of work.

It’s important to try to stay in work even though you’re in pain. Research shows that people become less active and more depressed when they don’t work. Being at work will distract you from the pain, and in most cases, won’t make your pain worse.

Talk to your supervisor or boss about the parts of your job that may be difficult to begin with, but stress that you want to be at work.

If you have to stay off work for a while, try to get back as soon as possible. If you have been off work for 4 to 6 weeks, plan with your doctor, therapist or employer how and when you can return.

You could go back to work gradually. For instance, you might start with 1 day a week and gradually increase the time you spend at work.

You could also agree changes to your job or pattern of work if it helps – a health and safety rep or occupational health department may be useful here.

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