Chronic pain includes any recurring pain that we feel for more than three months and it is very common among the world population nowadays. It is a condition that we should deal with promptly as it affects all aspects of our lives including simple daily activities as well as work performance. This kind of pain is often reflected in reduced focus and concentration, increased conflicts at work, lowered work enthusiasm, increased levels of depression and other health problems such as headaches, backaches, arthritis, lung and respiratory illnesses. Read on to learn about how chronic pain can affect job performance and what to do about it.
Ways chronic pain reduces your productivity
Living with chronic pain can reduce your productivity at work by causing absenteeism and presenteeism and by impeding your mental abilities.
1 Chronic pain causes absenteeism
When talking about the relationship between pain and productivity, absenteeism is one of the biggest issues. Chronic pain causes you to miss out on work and hence, decreases your productivity to a zero. It doesn’t affect only your employer financially, but you as well.
2 It causes presenteeism
Yet another problem chronic pain causes is presenteeism. It means that you are present at work, but due to chronic pain, you can’t perform in the way you normally do. So you do less work when compared to times you don’t feel chronic pain. This also costs your employer, even more than absenteeism.
3 It impedes your mental abilities
Besides impeding your physical abilities, chronic pain can also impede your mental abilities. It decreases your energy to be creative and it influences your mood. It also dampens your focus and concentration, disabling you to work, especially in a mentally challenging and taxing environment.
What you can do to prevent chronic pain from interfering with your productivity at work
Luckily for everybody who suffers from chronic pain, there are some simple things you can do to prevent this pain from affecting your productivity at work.
1 Mind your posture and seek medical help if necessary
Back pain and headaches are two of the most common issues people are faced within today’s workplace. To prevent them from happening, you can start by minding your posture. If you do a sedentary job especially, you should try to sit up straight at all times. On the other hand, if you slouch, slump, cross your legs and crane your neck and head forwards, you are sure to experience muscle tension, strain, and inflammation. These issues are further emphasized by the fact that we sit more than we used to. The current pandemic has limited our regular daily movement so we spend all of our time in our homes. If this chronic pain is something you can’t deal with anymore, seek online physiotherapy services offered by skilled professionals.
2 Drink enough water
The next thing you can do to help yourself is to drink plenty of water. Drinking coffee and poor hydration generally cause headaches, dehydration and digestion pain. Caffeine found in coffee acts as a diuretic, so it makes you go to the bathroom more and thus get rid of fluids that you’re not necessarily replenishing. Drinking plenty of water during the day helps you stay more concentrated and alert. One way you can make yourself drink more water is by keeping a reusable water bottle on your desk to remind you to drink water.
3 Get enough sleep
We can be sleep deprived due to many causes such as insomnia, old and uncomfortable mattresses, not enough or too much pillow support and staring into blue light screens just before going to bed. This state can cause serious troubles for you and your work, as it suffers due to fatigue, headaches, back pain and other sleep deprivation symptoms. You can enhance your sleep hygiene by relaxing yourself an hour before you go to bed. You can draw a warm bath, read a book or listen to soothing music. Also, you should invest in a quality mattress and pillows to provide your spine with the best support possible.
4 Learn to manage the stress you feel
The stress and anxiety we feel at our job can easily reflect on our health. It causes muscle tension, headaches and even back pain. To avoid stress causing you chronic pain, you should find a suitable way of relieving stress. For example, you could use aromatherapy and soothing scents such as lavender to help you relax. Practice deep breathing and meditation.
Many people today face the problem of chronic pain on a daily basis. If we don’t deal with it promptly it can cause lots of problems and issues in all aspects of our daily lives. That’s why it’s absolutely vital to deal with these kinds of problems right away.