There is a saying that personal trainers love to use that pain is weakness leaving the body. That is true in one sense when what a person experiences is the adult muscular pain associated with isometric exercise. However, many forms of pain do not make a person stronger.
In fact, if the person feeling the pain ignores the sensation, it could make them weaker and decrease their overall functionality or range of motion. Chronic pain that flares up on the job could put your future employment at risk. It could have a negative impact on your job performance and therefore on your career future.
How does pain affect your professional success?
It reduces your productivity
When you hurt at work, you may move more slowly. You may need to use the system technology or different processes so that you don’t aggravate your symptoms any more than is absolutely necessary. Those efforts may mean that you are less productive than you were before the pain was a daily issue.
Your feeling of pain will impact how much work you get done each week. Workers with joint pain provide roughly 2.4 hours less productive job time than those without any pain, and those with chronic pain in multiple parts of their bodies lose 9.8 hours of productivity at work each week.
It can affect your sleep
Chronic pain doesn’t just disappear when you go home for the day. It can linger, affecting what tasks you perform around your house, how much of an appetite you have and how well you sleep. Especially if you find yourself struggling to fall asleep at night or waking up frequently because of your pain, your fatigue could eventually affect your job performance as well. Exhausted workers are slower workers and may also be more likely to have accidents on the job.
It may cause more days off of work
When you have significant, chronic pain symptoms, you may sometimes need to take time off from work to give your body a chance to recover. You may also need to take days off to seek medical treatment. The more days of work that you miss, the more likely your employer is to write you up, terminate you or pass you over for the next promotion.
Realizing that your pain symptoms will affect your career might motivate you to pursue a personal injury claim after a car wreck or similar situation leaves you with chronic pain.