Is working from home aggravating your chronic pain condition?

Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Living in Lockdown, Pain Management, Stress

Working from home has become the new normal for thousands of people up and down the country.

Covid kicked it off – gone were the long commutes and office chats. These were swiftly replaced with makeshift desks and half-muted Teams calls.

And now, even with Covid behind us (fingers crossed!), the WFH home trend seems to have stuck.

If you have a chronic pain condition you may have already been accustomed to working from home long before it became an actual ‘thing’. Lots of people in your position WFH as a reasonable adjustment to help manage their symptoms.

But is it? Is working from home helping to manage your symptoms? Or is it actually aggravating your chronic pain condition?

Working from Home and Pain 

In a study conducted by Nuffield Health during lockdown, 70% of those surveyed said that they were experiencing more aches and pains, especially in their necks, backs, shoulders and joints, while working from home. Unsurprising when sofas were doubling as computer chairs and laps were masquerading as desks.

If that was the case for those without a chronic pain condition, it’s logical to think those numbers would be much higher amongst those with chronic pain!

And it’s not just the physical demands that could be ramping up your symptoms…

Working from Home and Mental Health 

We all know the impact stress and anxiety can have on pain. Pain causes stress, stress causes pain. You know the drill – the cycle is a vicious one, and it’s incredibly difficult to break.

So, when people working from home reported spending more time working than ever before, difficulties in switching off from work and feeling more isolated and alone, it’s understandable that the stress of working from home may be fuelling your chronic pain condition.

How Can I Minimise WFH Pain? 

If you feel like working from home may be aggravating your chronic pain condition, there are a few things you can do to help reduce physical and mental strain:

1. Remember to stay active – a short walk or a 15-minute stretch can help reduce joint stiffness and chronic pain symptoms.

2. Try BEMER® therapy– if your pain is becoming too much to handle, try giving techniques such as BEMER® therapy a go to stimulate blood flow and reduce chronic pain symptoms aggravated by WFH.

3. Ensure your workspace is set up correctly– no more hunching over the laptop balanced on your knees, invest in the correct equipment!

4. Clear away your workspace – if mental stressors are aggravating your chronic pain condition, try clearing away your workspace at the end of the day. This helps keep work life and home life separate and can reduce anxiety.

5. Get connected – feeling lonely and isolated can impact your chronic pain symptoms. Ensure you maintain a healthy social life in between your working hours.

Working from home may sound like it’s full of Teams calls in your pjs and lunchtime dog walks, but actually, it can be a real source of stress if you’re managing a chronic pain condition.

For further advice or to chat about our WFH solutions, please get in touch.

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