Disability: Chronic Pain
September is Chronic Pain Awareness Month.
Chronic pain affects approximately 1 in 7 adults, and is defined as pain which lasts longer than 6 months. Despite its prevalence and impact upon the lives of those living with it, chronic pain is poorly understood and often poorly managed.
Chronic pain can affect every aspect of life, from difficulty sleeping and concentrating to irritability and fatigue. It is therefore very important that employers are aware of chronic pain and mechanisms for supporting employees living with it. These may include providing ergonomic work equipment, allowing employees to work from home some days, and having robust policies which support employees’ rights to medical leave and disability support. Many adaptations and assistive technologies can be provided through the Access to Work scheme, at no cost to the employer.