If you work a physical job, some amount of pain comes with the nature of your employment. The exhaustion of tired muscles after a long day of lifting or aching feet after standing at your place in an assembly line all day are natural consequences of physical exertion.
However, there is definitely a difference between acceptable pain experienced on the job and unnecessary discomfort caused by physical injury or repetitive motion injuries. If you start noticing that performing the tasks of your job has become painful before you finish for the day, you should not ignore your pain. It is your body’s early warning system letting you know that there is something wrong.
If you try to keep forcing yourself to perform at work, you might endanger your future employment.
Chronic pain will affect your job performance
When you hurt, your resilience on the job goes down. Pain can also affect your mental state by decreasing your focus and increasing irritability. Chronic pain can drastically affect your output and the way that you relate to other people at work.
If your employer doesn’t realize that your diminished work performance is the result of job-related pain, they might start giving you worse performance reviews or passing you up for overtime, pay raises and promotions.
Chronic pain can progress to a point where you can’t work anymore
Whether you have tried to ignore the signs of a hernia caused by unassisted lifting or to cope with the physical side effects of doing the same job tasks every day for decades, your chronic pain will probably get worse and not better if you don’t ask for help.
When you report the issue to your employer, you can initiate a workers’ compensation claim that helps you gain access to medical treatment and paid leave during your recovery. Medical care can be valuable to your long-term recovery.
Once you speak up, you can ask for support
Your employer can’t punish you for asking for workers’ compensation after you get hurt. They have an obligation to help you stay on the job by approving reasonable accommodations that will make it easier to do your work. From unpaid breaks to different job responsibilities, there are many ways for your employer to work with you when you have an injury.
However, you have to acknowledge the injury and have workplace documentation in order to ask for support and accommodations. Speaking up when your work causes you chronic pain can help you get the benefits you need to protect your long-term career stability.