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When You Can’t Work Anymore: What to Do When Your Back Pain Becomes Debilitating

Many people carry on working with chronic back pain. Quitting seems unthinkable, so they they work through the pain and try to cope. But the day often comes when the pain becomes debilitating and a full-time job does not allow for enough rest. A physically demanding job, or even simply a stressful one, can make the pain worse and might even be compounding the damage. When this truth becomes impossible to ignore, you hand in your notice. When this happens, it is tempting to slide into a pit of inactivity and isolation. Before this happens, take some action in these areas.

Working Towards Healing

Chronic back pain is never static. It gets either better or worse than it was yesterday, and it always gets worse when you do nothing. Left to themselves, muscles stiffen, connective tissue fuses and nerves get pinched. Make sure you take advantage of any benefits that cover physical therapy. If you can only afford to go a few times, ask the therapist if your loved one can sit in on a few sessions and learn techniques to help you. Don’t neglect exercises, stretches or any other action your therapist has prescribed. Keep your blood circulating and your muscles flexible.

Mental Health

The mind and body cannot be separated, and one affects the other. Chronic back pain takes its toll on mental health, and so does losing your job. Chronic pain and unemployment means you have double the reason to take care of your mental state. This could mean proper medications, counseling, support groups or spiritual pursuits. Taking action in any of these other categories addressed in this article will certainly also strengthen your spirits.

Be Productive

People are not happy when they are not productive. Think outside the box. Consider what skills you have that could safely be employed. Keep in mind that you don’t have to make money to be productive. Doing something for someone else takes the focus off of yourself, which will not only improve your mood but will take your mind of your back pain.

Finances

The first concern for the unemployed is, of course, finances. Establishing your insurance status should be your first priority. Does your former employer’s insurance has long-term disability benefits? What are the premiums to continue under their insurance as a COBRA plan? Chronic back pain requires medical treatment, and insurance is a must. As soon as you can, apply for disability benefits. If you have paid into Social Security at any time in your life and are disabled so that you cannot work, you are eligible. Your eligibility has nothing to do with your current financial state. You do not have to drain your savings before you apply. Talk to a social security attorney in San Bernardino to help you with the paperwork and get more information.

To summarize, the chronically disabled unemployed person does not have to stop living. Quitting your job does not, all by itself, make you a quitter. Never give up the fight against back pain.

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