Back Pain At Work? Talk To HR About These Changes
When you're suffering from back pain that is making you uncomfortable throughout the workday, it's important not to hide this issue from your employer. Employers would much rather make changes to help their uncomfortable employees lessen their pain, instead of end up with people taking disability leave because their back pain makes it impossible for them to perform their job. Schedule a meeting with a human resources representative to disclose your ailment and see what changes can be made. Here are some suggestions that you may wish to bring up.
Alternatives To Sitting Traditionally
In many cases, back pain can worsen as a result of sitting in a chair throughout the day. While an upgrade to your chair may help to alleviate some of your discomfort, talk to HR about some alternatives that can be implemented. For example, if you notice a decrease in your pain when you're standing, talk about having a stand-up deck. By standing to work throughout the day, you may be able to get your job done with a minimum of pain. An adjustable desk that can be raised and lowered is ideal for the times that you need to sit to alleviate foot or leg cramps. You may also wish to ask about using an exercise ball instead of a chair; many people with back pain find the use of the ball can help because of how it promotes better posture.
Understanding About Movement
Employers want their employees to stay on task throughout the workday, but they also want them to be healthy. If staying in one position for the entire day is detrimental to your back pain, talk to HR about getting approval to move when you need to. For example, if you're able to take a five-minute walk every hour or so, you might feel a decrease in your back discomfort. This change in your workday is always important to clear with your employer, though, so that you aren't viewed as slacking off.
Change In Job Duties
Sometimes, you may need a temporary change in your daily duties to keep your back pain from worsening. For example, if you're sore because of an acute injury, you'll want to stay away from lifting things for a period of time. Your doctor or back care specialist can provide you with a note to give to your employer to this effect. A temporary change in your typical workday may be enough to help you get through your discomfort. If your back pain is unmanageable, schedule a visit with a chiropractor. Depending on your workplace health plan, these appointments may be covered.