We may often feel some kinds of pain each day. Sometimes, when we get up in the morning, we may feel a sudden pain in our neck and back because of poor posture while sleeping. There are times when we experience throbbing pain in our head due to long hours of using computers. In some cases, pain can be due to accidents or other illnesses of the body. Although pain can be somehow a normal part of living, the moment it becomes repetitive and affects other parts of the body, serious medical attention must be sought. Chronic pain syndrome at work, for instance, can be a threat to your overall health; thus, you should learn some tips on how to avoid it.
What is Chronic Pain Syndrome?
Healthline.com defines chronic pain syndrome as a "pain can last for months and even years after the body heals." Other medical experts stated that this pain could last from three to six months and affects millions of people worldwide.
Normally, pain is the body's reaction to an illness or an injury. It serves as a warning that something wrong is happening in the body. This is why when your body heals from an illness, the pain also stops.
According to WebMD, chronic pain syndrome can be caused by both mental and physical factors. WebMD states:
"The roots of CPS are both physical and mental. Some experts think that people with the condition have a problem with the system of nerves and glands that the body uses to handle stress. That makes them feel pain differently. Other experts say CPS is a learned response. When you're in pain, you may start to repeat certain bad behaviours even after the pain is gone or has lessened."
Chronic pain syndrome is also one of the health conditions affecting the workers' performance at work. If not given proper medical attention, this may also lead to lower productivity levels, increased absences and frequent leaves.
Causes of Chronic Pain Syndrome
You might be interested to know what the common causes of chronic pain syndrome are? Is it mainly caused by the kind of lifestyle we have? Is it about the nature of our work? Or, is it genetic?
To answer all these questions, here are the factors that can cause chronic pain syndrome:
- Back pain, which usually roots from nerve compression, muscle strains, or arthritis of the spine
- Osteoarthritis, which is commonly the outcome of the wear and tear in the protective cartilage between bones
- Trauma brought by surgeries and medical operations
- Fibromyalgia, which refers to a neurological condition that leads to tenderness and pain of the body's trigger points
- Inflammation of the digestive tract causing inflammatory bowel disease (characterized by intestinal cramping and pain)
- Rheumatoid arthritis, which refers to an autoimmune disease resulting in painful joint inflammation
- Cancers in an advanced state
Who is at risk?
Medical experts and some studies revealed that the more susceptible to acquiring chronic pain syndrome are:
- People who are depressed and experiencing anxiety
- Individuals who are 65 years and older
- Those who are obese and may experience abnormal functioning of hormones and metabolism
- Females; this is because they tend to be more sensitive to pain
- People who have arthritis and fibromyalgia
- People who smoke
- People whose work is prone to a sedentary lifestyle
What are the Common Symptoms of Chronic Pain Syndrome?
The following are the most common signs of chronic pain syndrome. All these can be worsened when a person is engaged in activities that may increase stress and physical effort.
- Muscle aches
- Joint pains
- Burning pain
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Mood issues
- Irritability, anxiety, and depression
- Loss of flexibility, energy and stamina
According to WebMD, there can also be some instances in which people with chronic pain syndrome can show signs of guilt, family problems, and suicidal thoughts.
Treatment for Chronic Pain Syndrome
The good news is that people experiencing chronic pain can have various ways or techniques on how they can treat it. Some of these include the following:
#1 Taking medications for pain relief such as Ibuprofen, aspirin and Naproxen Sodium. Included as well are topical ointments, salves and creams.
#2 Managing behaviours and changes in diet can also help. Therapists may control people's anxiety and aid them with pain management. On the other hand, diet also plays a vital role in preventing the effects of chronic pain. There are foods to avoid, so asking your physician is highly recommended.
#3 Alternative medications such as acupuncture, acupressure, and occupational therapy are also seen to have good effects in preventing chronic pain syndrome. Doing yoga, for instance, is proven to help reduce pain and improve mood.
Avoid Chronic Pain Syndrome at Work By Doing These Tips
As we can see, chronic pain syndrome can significantly affect both personal and professional growth. Especially at work where there are So, here are some helpful tips to prevent it from creating bigger problems.
#1 Avoid stress.
Yes, work can be overwhelming and stressful. From the bulk of paperwork to demanding deadlines, all these can bring conflict physical, mental and emotional problems. This should be avoided to prevent stress from putting your health at risk. Headaches, migraines, and other health problems are associated with acquiring pain and other health issues. s
#2 Watch your diet.
Some foods can trigger some kinds of pain, such as migraines and arthritis. Ask your doctor to be informed on what foods should be included in your daily meals and which ones should be avoided.
#3 Promote proper posture at work and home.
Some pains that we experienced are the results of the way we move, sit, and stand. Often, we tend to slouch while sitting. We bend too much when picking something. In short, we work on our activities with improper posture. The results: having back pain, neck pain, muscle fatigue, sprain, and even strains. This is why proper posture should be promoted. The correct posture, when sitting and standing, must be applied to keep ourselves safe and comfortable.
#4 Use an ergonomic chair at work.
An ergonomic chair can provide comfort and convenience while working. It also helps in reducing the risk of back pain and neck pain. Choose an ergonomic chair that has an armrest, head support, comfortable seat cushion, and the ability to adjust its height.
#5 Use standing desks and desk converters.
A sedentary lifestyle can also cause health issues leading to discomfort and pain. This can be solved by using standing desks and desk converters. A worker can easily shift between sitting and standing and stay active while at work.
#6 Consider using ergonomic accessories.
Other ergonomic accessories can help prevent the risks of musculoskeletal disorders and other work-related issues. For instance, an ergonomic vertical mouse can help avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Repetitive Strain Injuries(RSI). Also, an LED desk lamp can provide better lighting in the workstation, thus, helping to get rid of eyesight problems and migraine headaches. To avoid clutter caused by wires and cables that may lead to accidents and injuries, you should consider using items such as a cable management spine-wire organizer and dual cable clip wire organizer.
Keep your muscles and bones healthy by doing some exercises. This is also proven to keep overall health and wellness and stay away from diseases that can lead to chronic pain syndrome.
#8 Apply proper ergonomics at work.
Applying proper ergonomics in the workplace can keep you safe and healthy at work. The way you set up your computer monitor to how you sit on your chair and table can impact your overall health. Make sure to have a desk and chair with the correct height, so you will not have to slouch or work with a poor posture.
#9 Stop smoking and other activities that contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Smoking and other unhealthy lifestyles are known to cause several diseases that can result in pain and other worse issues. It will be better if these bad habits will be ceased to protect health and well-being.
#10 Consult your doctor for a regular check-up.
For optimum health care, visit a doctor for proper consultation. Your physician will advise you to consider health tips and other recommendations to prevent chronic pain syndrome.
Don't allow chronic pain stop you from living and working efficiently. Make sure to follow the tips mentioned above and keep a healthier and pain-free living.