Working with Pain

Pain when working is a common issue that many people live with. While pain may become severe, many people need to keep working despite pain.  Some common conditions that can produce pain when working include sprains, strains, disc injuries, and other overuse injuries. 

Braces and supports can help to protect joints and prevent excessive motion, especially in the early phases of an injury when swelling and inflammation may be present.  During work, back braces can provide support and limit excessive movement of the joints in your back which helps to manage pain and avoid reinjury.

Exercise and stretching within tolerance help to improve healing and decrease pain.  It is important to moderate exercise and stretching to avoid increasing inflammation or reinjuring yourself.  This is especially true earlier on in the course of injury recovery where swelling and inflammation may be present.  While moderation is important, avoiding exercise and movement all together can slow healing and may lead to chronic pain.  A good target is not to exceed mild levels of pain and avoid increasing swelling and inflammation.  If swelling or inflammation increase,  cryotherapy and application of ice can help to control symptoms. 

It is important to perform active home therapies such as stretching and exercise even when discomfort occurs.  If you constantly avoid pain and discomfort, the pain can build and become chronic, continuing and persisting even after physical injury has healed.  Chronic pain can even increase and become worse over time.

Changing work routines can help to avoid exhaustion from pain and injuries.  It is important to take breaks during repetitive or prolonged activities to stretch and rest your body.  Changing work tasks or positions can help to prevent exhaustion.  For instance, changing from sitting to standing can moves weight to other muscles, as well as allows muscles flexed when sitting, such as the hip flexors, to stretch.

Ergonomic changes can help to avoid fatigue and exhaustion.  Avoid bending at the back and instead squat when reaching below to protect your back.  Avoid slouching and rolling your shoulders forward when sitting.  When carrying boxes and other items, keep them close to your body to decrease strain on your arms and back. 

Chiropractic treatment is effective for many conditions that can cause pain when working.  Your Chiropractor will be able to assess your injury and provide treatment to decrease and manage pain as well as instruction for home exercise and stretching that is appropriate for your condition.  Visit a local chiropractic clinic if you are suffering from pain when working.