Having arthritis can make even simple everyday tasks difficult, but you may also need to have a job. Follow these tips and suggestions for holding a job while also struggling with arthritis.
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Dr Stephanie Barrett
Inform Your Employer
Your employer needs to know that you have arthritis in most cases because there may be some tasks you can’t do. They should not keep you from being employed for this factor as long as you can perform your main job, since that would be discrimination. Your employer can help you choose certain tasks that are easier for you to perform, such as not being the one to list heavy storage boxes and instead have another office organization task. It is a good idea to let them know and inform your human resources department if you start experience worsening symptoms.
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Think About the Type of Job You Do
Naturally, not all jobs will be the right option for you if you have arthritis, especially if it is one of the more advanced stages. If you are not currently employed but looking for a job, then you have a little more flexibility in what type of work you do. Even jobs with seemingly simple tasks can be very hard on someone with arthritis, such as a job where you are having to go lift or carry heavy objects, or go up and down stairs all day. Try to choose employment where gripping items with your hands all day or using a lot of physical exertion are not going to be required.
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Be Easy On Yourself
It isn’t easy to admit when you need a little bit of help, such as rearranging your desk so it is better for your condition. Let your employer know if there is something they can provide you that will improve your discomfort. You should also know when it is time to reduce your hours at work or switch to a different job at your company or a different one. Be easy on yourself and don’t deal with extreme amounts of pain because you don’t want to admit your issues are from the arthritis. There are always options that is going to allow you to work, but not deal with so much discomfort.
Working with a physical therapist can also be helpful when you need to strengthen your muscles and joints in order to have more physical capabilities.