Living with Chronic Pain


Maintaining employment while living with chronic pain can be challenging. A reduction in productivity may occur and repeated sick days may be used due to pain levels. Some individuals may be apprehensive to notify their employer of a disability or chronic pain diagnosis as they believe it may change how their employer or other employees perceive them. The risk of being treated differently or unfairly is a valid concern.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a set of rights enacted to protect individuals with disabilities. The ADA defines an individual with a disability “as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.” Please note that this is a legal definition, not a medical one. Under the ADA, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for disabilities. Other laws that can help individuals with disabilities include the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

When dealing with a disability in the workplace, it is essential to communicate with the employer about any accommodations or modifications that may be needed in order to maximize productivity. Discussing any concerns with the human resources department (if one is available) is typically the best place to start.

Did you find this helpful?
You may also like