Can you go to work with arthritis of the spine?
If you’ve been diagnosed with spinal arthritis, you’re likely wondering what this means for your ability to work and participate in your favorite hobbies. Many people are able to continue to go to work after being diagnosed with spinal arthritis. However, people who have severe arthritic joint damage, work in physically demanding professions or still experience symptoms despite using medications and other treatments may face more challenges when it comes to remaining in the workforce.
Tips for a more comfortable workday
If you have a traditional corporate job, the following tips may make it more comfortable for you to make it through the day while dealing with arthritis of the spine:
- Periodically leave your desk to stretch. Getting up every one to two hours helps promote blood flow and keep your muscles engaged. No time to leave your workstation? Try simple stretches at your desk, such as tilting your neck from side to side or extending your arms in front of you and gently pulling each one across your chest.
- Ask your boss about workplace modifications. For instance, since tilting your head to view your computer strains your cervical spine, consider asking for monitor lifts to move the screens to your eye level. You could also see if your office can accommodate a standing desk.
- Use a lumbar support on your chair. There are numerous options to choose from at a variety of price ranges, and adding a bit of extra cushioning for your lower back can make a desk job more comfortable.
- Talk with your physician about creating a medication plan. Over-the-counter options, such as ibuprofen, and prescription options can help alleviate pain and discomfort caused by spinal arthritis. While certain pain medications may interfere with your ability to perform certain work-related tasks (such as driving or operating heavy machinery), your physician can help you create a plan that works for your specific needs.
If symptoms are interfering with your ability to work
If, despite workplace modifications and nonsurgical treatment, you find that you’re still struggling with disruptive arthritis symptoms, you may wish to speak with a physician about surgical options. At Laser Spine Institute, we’ve helped thousands of patients get back to work — and play — with our minimally invasive outpatient procedures. If you’ve been struggling to focus on work as a result of persistent spinal arthritis, contact us today to learn more about your options.