Living with Chronic Pain

Job Suggestions for Individuals With Chronic Pain


Finding a job that is a good personal fit is often difficult, especially for individuals with chronic pain. Essential tasks of many jobs, such as lifting heavy objects or driving for long periods of time, can increase pain. However, there are various jobs in which individuals with chronic pain can thrive.

Jobs that provide flexibility with work hours and workplace location are often best for individuals with chronic pain. This ensures that work can be completed when and where the individual is most comfortable. Work-from-home jobs allow individuals to control comfort factors in their environment, such as lighting, temperature and seating. For individuals who do not wish to work from home, many office jobs can provide workplace accommodations, such as ergonomically correct workspaces.

Jobs that focus on the quality and quantity of work rather than accumulated work hours may also be best. This allows individuals to work at their own pace. Freelance work or contract jobs often focus more on completed work rather than hours on the clock.

Jobs to consider

Jobs that may be good options to explore include, but are not limited to, office support, writing or editing, transcribing, and software engineering. For some individuals, owning a small business may be a good option. Although running a business is a big responsibility, it allows complete control over work hours, location, and the amount of work to undertake. However, because stress can worsen chronic pain, individuals should only consider running a small business if they are confident that it will not increase stress levels.

Jobs to avoid

In general, individuals with chronic pain should avoid jobs that increase stress, require travel, or require significant physical activity or repetitive movements. Jobs that may not be suitable for individuals with chronic pain include, but are not limited to, landscaping, truck driving, manufacturing, and on-site retail.

No job is perfect; however, finding a job with enough flexibility and workplace accommodations to ensure success is possible. Maintaining a job is a great way to boost self-esteem.

Additional sources used to create this article include PainPathways Magazine.

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