People with chronic headaches suffer disability at work. Because of their recurring pain and related emotional strain, they often have to take time off from work. But the amount of disability people experience isn’t consistent. It varies from individual to individual, and, as a new study shows, workplace to workplace.
This new study, published in the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, shows that people with more supporting environment and more intellectually challenging jobs, do better and have less need for time off.
It’s Better When Your Boss Supports You
Researchers for this study looked at workers with chronic headaches to see how much workplace environment contributed to their level of disability. To find out, they compared about 600 workers with chronic headache to a control population of nearly 14,000 workers.
They found that some job characteristics were more likely to result in greater sick leave requests. Workers who had higher quantitative and emotional demands were more likely to request more sick leave due to emotional exhaustion.
But this doesn’t mean that people with headaches are looking for jobs that are just less demanding. No. Jobs with high cognitive demands were actually found to increase work engagement and therefore lower emotional exhaustion.
Employer support was also associated with lower emotional exhaustion and led to significantly reduced sick leave. In fact, employer support was more associated with sick leave for people with chronic headache than for people who didn’t have chronic headaches. In other words, for employers to get the most out of their employees with chronic headaches, they have to provide cognitive challenges and emotional support.
Unfortunately, we know that kind of support isn’t always given, since migraine sufferers face prejudice at work.
Is Your Job a Headache?
This study suggests that people with headache have an even bigger challenge when looking for a suitable employer. In addition to other characteristics of the workplace, they also need to be looking for high levels of intellectual challenge, with relatively low levels of emotional challenge and relatively low demands in terms of quantity of work.
And, perhaps most important, they need to find an employer who understands and supports them despite their condition. This is the recipe for best success among people with chronic headaches.
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to leave a workplace that isn’t a perfect fit, despite your headaches. Many people actually fear the opposite: that they’ll lose their job. That’s where we can help.
We can help you reduce the frequency and severity of your headache so that you won’t need to leave your job in search of one that is more supportive. Many people with chronic headaches don’t realize that TMJ is a major contributing factor to those headaches. TMJ treatment targets the cause of your headaches and stops them at the source. No more just trying to work through the pain or address the symptoms.
If you would like to learn whether TMJ is contributing to your chronic headaches in Denver, please call (303) 691-0267 today for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado.