Many people suffer from chronic neck or back pain on a daily basis, but they still need to work. You may be in pain, but your bills will keep coming. Undergoing treatment for back or neck pain is recommended for anyone experiencing pain. Treatments for spine pain include medication, chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, acupuncture, and interventional procedures, both minimally invasive and open surgery.
Working with a chronic condition exasperated by your profession can be problematic. How long will it take before the initial cause of your back or neck injury, strain, or chronic condition lands you back in your doctor's office seeking additional treatment?
You may be working in a career with higher amounts of work-related back and neck injuries or strain. With this in mind, what are the best jobs for individuals suffering from back pain?
Let's look at some career options that are often lower-impact and less strenuous on the back and neck.
First, let’s cover job requirements for those with a bad back. Back pain can limit the movements or activities a person can perform. Some things to avoid are sitting for long periods or standing without breaks. Repetitive motions can worsen the pain, especially when lifting heavy items, twisting, or bending.
If we consider those, some professions are not recommended for back pain patients. For example, waitressing or working as a loader is a bad idea that can lead to complications.
Another thing to avoid is a job that forces you to stand hunched over. A dentist is definitely such a job. While performing some procedures, dentists must stand bending over for hours daily. Such repetitive movements lead to muscle stiffness, poor blood flow, and other back pain-promoting symptoms.
So, you know things to avoid if you have pain, and now we’ll cover what to look for in a job. Generally, try to find a job with a flexible schedule. Such employment can be easily combined with a back pain treatment plan and doctor appointments.
Remote work has similar benefits. Moreover, at home, you can have as many breaks as you need to get some movement and gently stretch muscles.
Indeed, you need to avoid jobs that require intense physical labor, so looking for jobs with limited physical requirements is the way to go.
Another good tip is to discuss your physical needs with a future employer before you get the job so that both employee and employer realize the extent of the acceptance culture at the workplace. For example, your boss might be okay if you skip some days or finish a work day earlier if you’re in pain or have an appointment.
Also, some workplaces offer a good health benefits program, allowing affordable but quality healthcare.
Best jobs for people with bad backs
Photographer, The beauty of self-employed photography, is that the schedule and work environment are both under your control. You can choose to take photos in your studio, on location, or both, and you can decide your schedule. Suppose you want to work for a photography company. Photography is still a great choice since it is not usually a back-heavy profession and offers opportunities for inactive and active periods throughout the day.
Content Writer Websites, bloggers, media companies, press relations companies, and social media websites often need writers that can provide them with content for posts, newsletters, and website pages. The great perk is that these jobs can usually be done from home. Some websites hire freelancers, where you can offer to write content for various companies if you don't want to stick to just one subject. Content writing may be a good option if you like writing and deciding your hours. Take precautions with too much sitting in this profession, however. Take frequent breaks and perform routine stretches to keep your spine from being in one position for too long.
Software Developer You would think that the job of developing software would be filled with long days and nights sitting at a desk and pounding away at a keyboard. While this may be true in some operations, many companies are taking progressive steps forward and providing much-needed comfort for their employees. Larger companies have areas throughout the office where the employees can sit in comfy beanbag chairs while they pour their creative souls out. Newer adjustable desks allow you to choose whether to sit or stand as you attack your workload. Another great benefit is that many more progressive companies either provide a local gym membership or have an onsite gym for their employees to use and encourage mixing activity with workday inactivity.
Quality inspector/compliance officer When regulations are high, and the penalties can be a significant setback, companies hire individuals to ensure their teams are compliant. The healthcare industry, food industry, and chemical industry are examples. These jobs offer a balance of sitting and walking. Archaeology Volunteer If you enjoy the outdoors and exploration, you may enjoy archaeological fieldwork. Often, you do not necessarily need a degree in archaeology to participate in planned 'digs'. These projects, led by professionals, often need help. Some opportunities may be paid, and some may be volunteer work. Archaeological digs provide an unhurried and less-strenuous environment than many other outdoor jobs.
Market research analyst When marketing and advertising companies take on new clients or are re-vamping their marketing strategy for a current customer, research must be done on the current trends for that particular customer and their client base. In today's world, a lot can be done on the internet and using software that assists with that research.
Videographer Videographers require an eye for detail, the ability to know what is important to highlight in a video assignment, and the equipment to support both the quality of your videos and any voice-over recordings a client may require. Videographers also need editing software and the ability to add logos, branding, and content to a video. If this is right up your alley, you may enjoy being a videographer for businesses in need of highlighting their product or service. This is another job that involves both active and sitting time, but generally should not cause excessive strain on the spine.
Administrative Assistant, many pages and articles are floating around that state working at a desk job can lead to chronic lower back and neck pain. While it is true that if you sit at your desk all day without taking the proper precautions, you may have a higher chance of chronic pain. Making use of ergonomic furniture, taking stretching breaks, and learning how to work safely in the office make this career one of the top choices for back and neck pain sufferers.
Designer There are many fields of design that can be interesting for people with back pain. Designers usually use a computer to create websites, UX/UI, or interior design. It means a sedentary lifestyle, but such jobs typically allow you to work remotely so you can have many breaks. Even if you work in an office, a design is built around an idea, and usually, design teams spend much time generating and discussing ideas. You can easily stand while presenting your idea or walk around a little during these moments. Also, the paycheck is relatively high, so that you can afford better-quality medical services.
Self-Employed This is an excellent career for someone suffering from back or neck pain. Not only do you set your own hours, but also you take breaks when you need to! You are entirely responsible for your environment, meaning you can set it up to your comfort and standards. With ergonomic furniture, taking plenty of stretching breaks, and working when you feel well enough, the pain will not plague your daily duties.
Other back-friendly careers you may not have thought of: Social media manager Project manager Florist Professional organizer Personal secretary Teacher's assistant Botanist Wedding Planner Office manager Home design consultant Job recruiter
Since any job can unexpectedly present a problem for the neck or back, we encourage preventive and safety measures to be in place at all times. In addition, for the health of your spine, avoid sitting for prolonged periods or taking on weight-bearing projects or tasks that may strain the spine. Take breaks often to stretch and relieve your back or neck from a strained or unrealized position. To be able to stretch a little, or comfortably walk around, wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Exercise regularly. If you feel excessive neck or back pain, examine what is hurting it more and stop repeating that particular position or activity. Visit a doctor for the best recommendations for the symptoms you are experiencing. Also, don’t hesitate to discuss the issue with your employer. Chances are, your boss can create a better working environment for you.