Jobs for Chronic Pain

Jobs for Chronic Pain

Best Jobs for People With Chronic Pain

Studies have been consistently showing that suffering from chronic pain has an impact on all areas of your life, including your career. As an example: people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are more likely than healthy people to change jobs, work less hours, be laid off, and retire earlier in life. Like RA, there are so many other conditions that are linked with chronic pain – from various forms of arthritis, to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and migraines.

Finding the best job depends on a few factors – like the type of pain you experience, your academic background, and where you live. As a general rule, you should choose a job that is not physically or emotionally to demanding, a job that will allow you to work at your own pace and involve very little travelling time.  Below are some examples of the best jobs for people with chronic pain that have been found to be less stressful.

Possible Jobs for People with Chronic Pain

You may want to consider a job as an administrative assistant, because this job had been found to be linked with less occupational injuries. It involves less repetitive movements (unless you have to type a lot and have troubles with the joints of the hand and wrist), and you often have the flexibility to take breaks when needed.

Maybe you are a highly skilled professional, such as accountant. Perhaps you have had various jobs involving long hours or travelling. Rather than looking into alternative careers, you should try first to find the right employer. Some companies would allow you to work flexible hours, and provide a less stressful environment, and no travel. This way, you can take time off if the pain does not allow you to work regular hours. Similarly, if you are trained as an engineer or lawyer, you should always look for companies that allow you to work at your pace, and are not physically demanding.  Working remotely becomes a more and more popular option and it may be worth trying.


Considering becoming self-employed? There are pros and cons. The main disadvantages are that your paychecks may not come in regularly and you would not have health insurance. However, being self employed allows you to schedule your working hours and rest when needed. If you can work from home even better, as you would avoid sitting in traffic of long hours, which could aggravate your pain. Try some freelance work – you could be a writer or an editor, and choose topics based on your area of expertise.

If you are not ready to become self employed, and didn’t find the right employer, look for a job in a non-profit organization. People working in nonprofit sector tend to be more laid back and be more likely to understand your condition. Philanthropy also is a rewarding field and can help you feel better emotionally. If you suffer from a form of arthritis, why not send your CV to a non-profit organization such as Arthritis Foundation? They could understand your condition better than anyone else.


Some of the worst jobs are those that require standing long hours on your feet (food industry, retail, teaching) repetitive motions, spending time in awkward positions (i.e. auto mechanics, construction workers), long hours and high stress levels (i.e. healthcare). You will likely feel better if you find an office job where you can still use your skills (i.e. as a nurse or physiotherapist you could work in the insurance industry).  Get creative, and look for a job that better suits your needs !

Brenda VantaBrenda Vanta

Dr. Brindusa (Brenda) Vanta received her MD from Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine, Romania, and her HD diploma from Ontario College of Homeopathic Medicine. Her main focuses are nutrition and homeopathy.

Jan 20, 2015
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