Dealing With Arthritis On The Job

If you suffer from some form of arthritis, chances are you know how difficult it is to deal with this painful condition on the job. Experts recommend that arthritis patients take a physical inventory before applying for a job, or to assess their current employment situation. If you have arthritis, there are certain questions that you should ask yourself. Although it can be difficult, you must be honest and realistic about what you can and cannot do. Here are some vital questions that you should ask yourself before taking a position, or to assess whether your current position is potentially harmful to your arthritis.

First, make a list of all the physical activities that are difficult for you to accomplish without some form of pain, stiffness or pressure. How long can you stand, walk or sit before you feel uncomfortable? Can you accomplish these activities for extended periods of time, or are you immediately seized by arthritis symptoms? How far can you reach? How much weight can you lift without feeling uncomfortable or in pain? Also consider your level of fatigue. Beside the normal feelings of joint stiffness and pain, arthritis can also cause a great deal of fatigue in most patients. What is your specific fatigue level? Are you quickly worn out after periods of moderate activity? Consider also your ability to drive and get in and out of cars. Does your job consist of driving? Do you have a long commute into work? Can you open the car door and get in and out of the car with ease, or does it cause you significant pain? Many jobs consist of some form of repetitive movement, whether it be typing or working with some kind of machinery. Can you perform repetitive tasks with ease? Can you accomplish these movements without aggravating your arthritis? Make your judgments with honesty. Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. There is no shame in not being able to accomplish certain tasks. After you’ve put together your physical inventory of things you can and cannot do with comfort and ease, it’s time to think about employment possibilities where you can work comfortably and safety. If you are already employed at a job you love and don’t want to give it up due to your arthritis, consider these ideas for making your job more workable for your.

First, if you are looking for an employment position that can help you work comfortably and pain-free, make a list of jobs that interest you that do not require repetitive movement, extended periods of sitting or standing, or excessive driving. Consider working part-time if you can. If on the other hand you already have a job you love and don’t want to part with it because of your arthritis, there are several things you can do to make the position work for you. Consider talking to your colleagues and supervisor about your arthritis. Be honest about your condition and talk about what you consider your physical limitations to be. Find ways to augment your working day to avoid or relieve the symptoms of arthritis. For instance, if you work at an office that requires you to sit for extended periods of time, plan to take several stretching or walking breaks throughout the day. Also, make sure your workplace is as arthritis-friendly as possible. Adjust your seat, files, and keyboard to reduce the stress and pressure placed on your body.