What are some good jobs for people with chronic pain?

  • AdrianTaylor
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3 weeks 2 days ago #29294 by AdrianTaylor
I am 25 and I experience a lot of chronic pain all over my body. Most of my life I've had chronic back pain due to injury and neglect. And as of late, my pain has spread to many more parts of my body. Because of this, I am finding it very difficult to figure out what type of jobs I can do. At this point in time I am experiencing pain in my fingers, knuckles, wrists, palms, arms, elbows, shoulders, neck, back, ribs, knees, ankles, feet, toes and what I have been told is my kidneys (Currently waiting for doctors appointment for further diagnosis), most of this has an impact on my sleep heavily and I can often spend 12 hours in bed only getting 4 hours of broken sleep, often waking up feeling worse. When I sneeze and cough it causes immense amounts of pain in my upper back, worsening with each sneeze/cough and spreading the pain throughout my arms, and sometimes even my legs. As this pain worsens I lose the ability to move my arms almost entirely (not because of the pain itself, but it leaves this strange feeling in my arms and shoulders that make it hard for me to move) and a lot of other small things cause me quite a bit of pain (Using a sink, chopping food on a bench etc.).

I have not been fully diagnosed yet but as of right now I have been diagnosed with at least the following:
Spinal torsion, Scoliosis, Bulging Discs, Schmorl's nodes, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Degenerative Disc Disease and a couple other minor things I've forgotten.

Due to my back problems I have been avoiding physical jobs that require me to bend/hunch over, lift, crawl and dig. Which eliminates a large number of jobs for me. I had seen Data Entry as a suitable job as I have incredibly fast typing speeds, I even saw it as a failsafe of sorts because I assumed I'd always be able to type fast (I hit well over 100 WPM with 100% accuracy). But, as of the last 2 and a half weeks I have been experiencing a lot of pain in my hands, arms and wrists making it difficult to type constantly and I don't feel like I should pursue a career in Data Entry because my performance will surely degrade as the pain gets worse and worse, and even if the pain does subside I'm worried that Data Entry jobs would provoke it making the undiagnosed problem worse in the long run. Just this last week the pain has progressed from mildly irritating and fairly inconsistent to quite painful and sometimes lasting the entire day with no rest (And completely untriggered). I'm starting to get really concerned about my future and I am genuinely not sure what to do with my life now.

Any advice and help in finding a suitable career option with all my pain taken into consideration would be greatly appreciated. (I might just add that I experience anxiety fairly often making call centre and retail jobs hard for me as well)

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2 weeks 5 days ago #29303 by Johnno
Hmmmmm Adrian ,

You don’t leave much scope in types of job with the constant pain issue ,but have you been and seen a pain specialist physician they may be able to help out either surgically or medically.
You could consider Pilates as they can adjust their exercise to suit people who suffer chronic pain .

Johnno

as long as I wake up alive I'm happy
Because it could be worse

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2 weeks 3 days ago #29307 by AdrianTaylor
Thanks for the reply. That's the kind of answer I expected. I'm unfortunately not in any financial position to do things like pilates (I would likely have to save up for several months for a single session) and would need a job to afford it, a job I struggle to get due to my health.

I have not seen a pain specialist. Do you know if such places bulk bill for consultations?

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2 weeks 3 days ago #29308 by Johnno
Sorry Adrian,

First when did your chronic pain start ?
Is it something that could possibly be RSI related ?
Is it an injury that occurred on the way to or from work?
Is it an injury that happened at work or during sports activity?
Did it happen at home?
With all of the above you could have some sort of insurance cover so if you could tell me if it falls in the above.
Which state and or city do you live in as we have people who are in the know in each state .
Hope this helps
Johnno

as long as I wake up alive I'm happy
Because it could be worse

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2 weeks 3 days ago #29309 by AdrianTaylor
It's kind of complicated and has spanned across many years. It first started when I was pushed off some stairs in high school when I was about 13, roughly 12 years ago, I hit the side of my head on a cement wall and got knocked out. Woke up temporarily paralyzed, regaining movement shortly afterwards and this is seemingly the start of my problems. My school simply told me to lie down for 10 minutes and nothing more and then to ignore me when I asked for help. I tried to go to doctors afterwards but it took a while to be taken seriously. I had one doctor say, and this is a direct quote word for word: "This clinic is for emergencies like gastro and ear infections, not some paranoid pothead who's read too much on the internet" - I never once mentioned I smoked pot and this was an assumption based purely off of my appearance (Long hair and such). At this point, I was quite young, I didn't know what to do, and wasn't really taking care of my health either. Constantly playing in bands lifting my bass and amplifier very likely contributed to the decline in my health.

People often didn't believe me when I said I was in pain and no one seemed to want to help me so I ended up not even bothering for several years, throwing in my anxiety and depression issues it made it difficult for me to seek help. Eventually I finished high school and got a job at KFC, where I had to bend down into giant sinks to clean big pieces of metal, causing me a decent amount of pain, as well as lifting heavy crates of chicken in a very small cool room with barely any room to lift properly (Probably shouldn't have even been lifting that amount period). I could only handle the work for about 6 months before I had to quit, I couldn't even give notice because of the pain. Eventually got to a doctor who gave me a 3 year medical exemption (Which I did not take advantage of and basically wallowed in my depression for the entire 3 years until my exemption ended and my disability employment provider told me, another direct quote, "You need to take one of these jobs or you will be kicked off the system".

The two jobs were a butcher job and a factory hand job in milk distribution lifting up to 30KG boxes of goods and lifting thousands of bottles of milk constantly. The only reason I was going for these jobs was because I told them I wanted to work in food processing because it would allow me access to a cool room, I only wanted this because of another undiagnosed health problem where I am incredibly sensitive to heat and find it very hard to even be in an office with the heater on on a cold day. And so I panicked and took the job at the distribution factory as I didn't land the other one (Because the employer didn't think I should do it because of my health problems, but disability employment didn't?). I was presented with the choice of being kicked off the system (Which would mean no money and in turn homelessness) or do a job that I knew was bad for my health. It was very hard to manage the job, it caused me a lot of pain, even using a back brace. But, out of fear of homelessness I tried to keep going with it.
Eventually, I basically lost my hours at work anyway after about 6 months and was again left without a job and put back into the system, but this time in regular job employment. I felt a lot worse after this job and was told much later that my employment provider was not allowed to say what they did and threaten to kick me off the system in that way but apparently it was too late for me to make a complaint about as it was years afterwards.

As of late, I have been looking towards data entry jobs as I have great computer skills and typing speeds. But, the last 3 weeks I have experienced unprovoked constant pain in my hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders. Over the last 12 years, I have experienced pain in these areas but very inconsistently and spread out. But, it has been a constant 3 weeks now and the pain hasn't subsided and I'm not sure I can go through with a data entry job anymore because of it.

The more recent additions of my hand and arm are completely unprovoked as far as I can tell and I have no idea what is causing them. I sleep terribly, contorting my body in positions that don't even feel healthy but are most comfortable to me (Temporarily, I will have to constantly change positions every few minutes to alleviate pain all throughout the night), often waking up with completely numb arms and hands over the years so I wouldn't be surprised if my sleep has contributed to it, but, I really can't say.

I currently live in Melbourne.

Long story short: Starting with an injury that was neglected for a long time, jobs that likely made things worse, generally neglecting my health because I was a young child who didn't know what to do and generally struggled to cope with life and playing live music have all contributed.

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2 weeks 2 days ago #29310 by Johnno
Adrian,

Can you get hold of the medical book from your school as an injury that caused concussion due to a severe head trauma could be the cause of your chronic pain .
You may want to see a nuerosurgeon or a neurologist as they may look at your spine to see if the trauma did any harm to you.
The info above is only suggested seriously inform your GP of this blunt trauma as it could possibly be the cause.

Johnno

as long as I wake up alive I'm happy
Because it could be worse

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