Why ignoring pain on the job can be a major mistake

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Many workers do their jobs diligently even when their work makes them uncomfortable or triggers pain symptoms. For those in blue-collar professions, for example, working through discomfort and pain can be a source of personal pride.

People often derive much of their self-identity from their work ethic and ability to put the needs of the company ahead of their personal discomfort. While such a strong work ethic is an admirable trait, it can cause significant harm to the worker ignoring their health concerns. Especially in cases where workers find that their discomfort or pain increases the longer they work, they may need to speak up about the symptoms triggered by their job responsibilities.

Work-related pain could worsen over time

Often, people choose to ignore pain symptoms when they don’t experience some kind of dramatic precipitating incident. Blue-collar workers recognize that they have a responsibility to report equipment malfunctions or other major incidents that lead to injury. However, they may not speak up when consistently performing the same job functions is what causes their pain. Unfortunately, repetitive strain injuries related to someone’s job functions could very well progress if someone does not receive a break from their job responsibilities and proper treatment.

Repetitive strain injuries can worsen to a point where the pain is persistent and debilitating. Employees who notice pain symptoms triggered by their work functions should not try to power through their shifts. Instead, they may need to speak to a supervisor and seek out medical evaluation.

Diagnosis is the beginning of recovery

When a worker receives a diagnosis of a repetitive strain injury, they can then potentially request workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation can pay for their treatment costs, possibly including surgery and physical therapy. If someone needs to take a leave of absence for their symptoms to improve, workers’ compensation can provide them with disability benefits until they can return to work. It can also be easier for workers to request accommodations on the job when their employers are aware of their job-related health challenges.

Instead of just ignoring pain triggered by work tasks, employees may need to communicate about their issues and take action. Reporting what might be a repetitive strain injury can potentially help someone overcome their symptoms and can protect them from job loss caused by functional limitations.