How to Work Through Chronic Pain Without Losing Productivity

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When you face chronic pain, it’s bound to impact your productivity. And, if you’re the boss, losing productivity hurts everyone. When you can’t work because you’re in pain, you can’t effectively manage your workforce, deal with customers, and, most damaging, can’t handle any situation out of the ordinary.

losing productivity

Research shows that approximately 40% of American workers live with chronic pain. Yet, chronic pain can cause a host of serious performance problems such as high absenteeism, anger, impatience, lack of focus, depression, substance abuse, and many other factors resulting in losing productivity. Moreover, you may find it challenging to normal expectations from your work performance. Fortunately, you don’t have to let chronic pain keep you from losing productivity. You can complete your work tasks with the right steps while reducing discomfort. Here are a few you should consider.

Don’t let chronic pain contribute to losing productivity

Get enough sleep

The last thing you want to do is get less than the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep, especially if you have chronic pain. Admittedly, people with this condition report poor sleep quality, frequently waking up due to the pain. And lack of sleep can also cause the perceived severity of the pain to worsen throughout the day.

More than simply amplifying the pain, intense fatigue can cause you to make many mistakes that compromise your work quality. Fortunately, you can escape this vicious cycle of pain and poor performance by getting the needed rest.

You can begin by creating a regular sleep schedule to set your internal clock, conditioning your body to wake and sleep at the appropriate times. Blue light tells the body that it should be awake, so eliminate blue light an hour or so before bedtime by turning off devices or installing blue light screens over them.

Practicing meditation and other relaxation techniques is also helpful, so keep this in mind. Experts also advise taking your pain medications before bed, although you want to consult a doctor before making any changes in your medication schedule. While you’re at it, you can also take some CBD oil to help alleviate pain so you can get a good night’s sleep.

Start your day on the right side

Starting your day on the right side of the bed can make all the difference. For instance, consider getting up a little early so you can work out when you wake up and your pain level is likely at its lowest. Exercises like yoga, pilates, weight lifting, walking, and stretching are excellent for reducing chronic pain, so a daily workout is beneficial as long as it fits your doctor’s advice. You should consult your healthcare provider for workouts best suited to your needs.

It’s also prudent to consume breakfast before leaving for work to prevent inflammation, increased cortisol, and insulin spikes. As a tip, ensure that your meals contain all the macronutrients in moderation. For instance, you can replace cereal with rice, broccoli, and chicken breast. You can also consider oatmeal with fresh fruit to boost your energy levels. By all means, limit your intake of coffee or other caffeinated drinks.

Limit stress at work

Stress can trigger your body to pump more cortisol and adrenaline into your bloodstream, increasing inflammation and worsening chronic pain. Moreover, your muscles may tense up or spasm when you encounter stress, prolonging your discomfort. Therefore, you’ll find it helpful to limit your stress at work to avoid contributing to your chronic pain.

And one way to reduce stress is to avoid multitasking; instead, focus on one task at a time. Also, avoid working overtime to give you enough time to relax. In some countries, this need for sufficient relaxation, whether it’s taking time for vacation or holidays, or instituting policies that forbid business contacts by phone or email during non-work hours. Consequently, establish boundaries and inform your colleagues and boss about your time off work-related activities.

Another solution to help avoid stress is to take short breaks to release tense muscles by stretching or walking. Some folks find it helpful to install an app or set a timer to remind them to stand up throughout the day.

Make your workplace comfortable

Your workplace can either increase or alleviate chronic pain, so keep this in mind. Therefore, you’ll find it helpful to speak to your bosses to provide ergonomic furniture, standing desks, or other amenities to help you reduce your pain. These items can help you work comfortably without straining your body. Because of this, the Americans With Disabilities Act may require some accommodation on the part of your employer.


Living with chronic pain is no picnic but it doesn’t have to contribute to losing productivity if your follow these guidelines.

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