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How Employers can Accommodate Employees with Chronic Pain

As an employer, your employee’s comfort can have a big impact on the quality of his or her work. It is proven that happier employees are more likely to work for you longer, communicate openly, and volunteer to help their coworkers. Working with an employee who suffers from chronic pain may be frustrating at times, as their explanation may be vague or confusing. However, it is vital that as an employer, you accommodate and allow your employees to work in a comfortable working environment.

Establish a Procedure

Chronic pain affects over 3 million people a year. As an employer, it’s highly likely some of your current employees experience chronic pain symptoms. It’s important to establish procedures that help facilitate the workflow for employees that suffer from chronic pain. Your employees most likely have certain methods for addressing episodes of chronic pain themselves, whether that be mental exercises, stretching routines, etc. Integrating these practices with their work schedule allows employees with chronic pain to be more productive. 

Consider the Working Environment

If you are an employer of a more active workplace, pay attention to whom you assign tasks. An activity requiring heavy lifting, for example, should not be assigned to an employee with chronic pain. Employees in a less active workplace, for example an office environment, can be at similar risk for intensifying their condition. Extended periods of sitting and slouching can apply pressure and compress spinal nerves.

Listen

It’s so important to lend an understanding ear to requests for accommodations for employees with chronic pain when interacting with them. Items like special chairs, tables, or a unique space in the office can be beneficial and even boost employee performance. By making an effort to understand their struggle, you play a significant role in helping your employees manage their chronic pain.

Is there someone in your life who may need the expertise of a board-certified pain management doctor? Pain Specialty Group is a pain clinic located in New Hampshire with over 50 years of combined experience treating patients who suffer from chronic pain. Call (603) 778-9921 or click here to book an appointment with us.

Author
Aidan Fisher, Maureen Cassidy Pain Specialty Group

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