Chronic pain and fatigue in the workplace

Chronic pain is becoming an increasingly common diagnosis for employees across the nation, and Wisconsin residents dealing with such issues can be affected in their ability to work. In some cases, chronic pain may even be connected to work-related activities. If you are attempting to continue in your job while enduring such pain, you may find that your performance is affected significantly. In some situations, disability accommodations or benefits may be needed.

Some of the most common types of chronic pain include neuropathic pain, back pain, joint pain and headaches. The amount of time such pain is present may be a determining factor in whether the pain is considered to be chronic. Headaches, for example, may be identified as chronic if there is a pattern of recurrence for at least 15 days per month over a three-month period. Neuropathic pain may result from an injury such as a slipped disk or from a disease such as diabetes. Information about your condition may provide the starting point for identifying your options in moving forward.

In some cases, disability accommodations may be coordinated so that you can continue to work to the best of your ability. If your condition makes it difficult to continue working, you may find that it is necessary to seek disability benefits through Social Security. If your chronic pain has resulted from work-related activity, there may be options available through workers’ compensation as well.

In seeking information about your disability rights in the workplace, it may be helpful to begin by discussing the issue with an experienced employment lawyer. This may help in ensuring that all avenues are explored for either equipping you to continue in your job or for clearly presenting your inability to continue working as disability benefits are sought. You can learn more about these issues as you read through our chronic pain page.


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