If you suffer from chronic back pain, working can be a challenge and a painful experience. A 40-hour workweek can seem like an eternity while working through chronic back pain. Fortunately, there are some jobs out there that may better suit you than others.
The best jobs for people with chronic back pain are accountant, administrative assistant, and content writer. A graphic designer, recruiter, researcher, or UX designer is also a good option if you have chronic back pain. Chronic back pain sufferers should also consider being self-employed.
This article will cover the best jobs for people with chronic back pain. I’ll also provide some workplace tips for those with chronic back pain. Let’s get started!
1. Accounting Jobs
- Average Salary: $53,000 per year.
- Workload: 93% of positions are full-time.
- High Demand: 30,194 accounting jobs are available on
Accountants perform financial job functions for individuals or corporations. Many accountants work for accounting firms, but they also find employment in the accounting department at large companies. However, some accountants choose to start their own accounting practice.
The workday of an accountant does require a significant amount of sitting. However, it would help if you made it a priority to stand up and walk around periodically. You may also want to add an ergonomic chair to your workspace.
Working as an accountant is not as mundane as it sounds and can include the following diverse tasks:
- Compiling financial statements
- Conducting accounting analyses
- Preparing tax returns
- Preparing financial forecasts
- Performing financial audits
- Reviewing financial statements
An Accountant’s duties may vary depending on where they work and can depend on their qualifications. A CPA or Certified Public Accountant is probably the most revered.
2. Administrative Assistant
- Salary: $16 per hour.
- Workload: 84% of positions are full-time.
- Low Demand: 2,094 administrative assistant jobs are available on
An office job requires a great deal of sitting; however, there are often opportunities to get up to walk around and ease your back pain. Depending on business needs, you may need to get up for various reasons:
- Fetching a printout at the printer
- Sorting the mail
- Checking office supply levels
- Preparing the conference room for a meeting
An administrative assistant typically has more freedom to get up and walk around, unlike a customer service representative, who is typically tied to their seat.
Further, an administrative assistant is a vital part of many organizations. They perform many tasks that make the office run smoothly. An administrative assistant’s duties are relatively the same among many companies.
Some of the tasks performed by an administrative assistant include:
- Communicating with clients and other employees over the phone or email
- Managing the office’s schedule
- Filing or scanning documents
- Making restaurant or travel reservations
- Helping other team members
- Ensuring that the office supply levels are adequate
3. Content Writer Or Freelance Journalist
- Average Salary: between $20 and $100 per 1000 words.
- Workload: 92% of positions are full-time.
- Low Demand: 1,500 writing jobs are available on
Content writers and freelance journalists are excellent options for individuals with chronic back pain. A content writer creates interesting and original content for media outlets, company websites, and social media platforms.
While content writers may have deadlines in which to work, the work is otherwise flexible. Oftentimes, work can be completed part-time or even full-time from home if the employer allows it. This makes it a welcome change from a regular 9-to-5 job.
You can also vary your workspace so that you don’t put undue stress on your back.
Freelance writers, on the other hand, are self-employed. This allows individuals to write when they are at their best and rest or take breaks as needed when back pain is worse.
Rest assured, most of this work can be done from a computer. Job duties for content writers and freelance writers may include:
- Creating drafts
- Following SEO guidelines
- Writing clear and concise copy
- Proofreading and editing
- Submitting completed copy
- Collaborating with other teams
4. Graphic Designer
- Salary: $25 per hour.
- Workload: 89% of positions are full-time.
- Low Demand: 101 graphic designer jobs are available on
The need for graphic designers is high. They are a vital part of marketing as they create the visuals that we see in ads, in apps, on signage, and on websites. Graphic designers create visual content with computer software and sometimes by hand.
Graphic designers can find work at several different organizations, such as:
- Large corporations
- Media outlets
- Advertising agencies
The valuable skills of a graphic designer are audience targeting, color theory, software design, digital sketching, typeface design, and website development. All of these skills can be done from the comfort of your ergonomic desk chair or your standing desk, which can help ease back pain.
- Workload: 91% of positions are full-time.
- Low Demand: 3,682 recruiter jobs are available on
Recruiters work in the human resource space, and they help fill positions that the company has open. As a recruiter, you are responsible for finding candidates and arranging interviews, so most of the day will be spent on the phone and the internet.
As you manage your time speaking with hiring managers and candidates, you can take time to stand up, stretch, and walk. This may be a job that may be ideal for a standing desk workstation!
6. Researcher Or Analyst
- Salary: $34 per hour.
- Workload: 92% of positions are full-time.
- Medium Demand: 12,375 research jobs are available on
We live in a data-driven age. As such, there is a high demand for data collection and data analysis. These jobs are desk jobs that require sitting for long periods of time. You will need to stand up to give your break- and maybe your eyes- a break. Still, these jobs require no strenuous physical activity.
As a researcher or analyst, you will likely be performing tasks such as collecting data, interpreting and analyzing data, and identifying trends, to name a few. Of course, specifics may vary depending on the type of researcher or analyst that you are.
Within the broader terms of researchers and analysts are subsets of these jobs. Some of the most common are program researchers, agricultural researchers, laboratory researchers, data analysts, financial analysts, and business analysts, to name a few.
7. UX Designer
- Average Salary: $104,223 per year.
- Workload: 93% of positions are full-time.
- Low Demand: 233 ux designer jobs are available on
If you are creative and innovative and possess the right skills, a career in UX design may be right for you. In this role, you will work to create and enhance the user experience for devices, software programs, and web pages.
This position relies heavily on collaboration with other team members, so remote work may be limited. You may have to collect information from surveys or draw sketches. Some employers may prefer that the work is done in an office setting, but others may allow remote work.
More specifically, a UX designer can expect to fill their days doing the following:
- Conducting interviews and surveys
- Creating user personas
- Developing wireframes
- Creating prototypes
- Solving user problems
- Working with design tools like Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Visio, and more
As a UX designer, you may have the unique insight to improve a user’s experience. As someone who suffers from physical pain, you may be able to improve the user experience of others who share chronic pain. Your unique perspective can play a significant role in cultivating products and services for others.
- Average Salary: you pay yourself.
- Availablity: no jobs are available right now.
If you have the skills or products, you may be able to work without having an employer. Self-employed work involves being an independent contractor or sole proprietor.
If you are self-employed, you own your own business, get paid directly for your work, and conduct business independently. This gives you much freedom as long as you meet your customer’s needs.
You choose where you work, your hours, how much work you take on, and when you take on new projects. This also provides you with the opportunity to go to doctor’s appointments without having to schedule time off with an employer.
One type of self-employment job, freelance writer, was listed above, but there are far more jobs that you can take. Below are just a handful more to consider:
- Interior Design
- Event Organizer
- Life Coach
- Technology Repair
- Catering, if your back allows it, or if you have assistance with transportation, set up, and other related tasks.
- Virtual Assistant
- Online Personal Trainer
- Online Merchant, specifically if you are selling products that are not heavy and able to pack and ship the products.
Workplace Tips for People With Chronic Back Pain
While you will want a job that doesn’t make your chronic back pain worse, there are other things that you can try to alleviate back pain in the workplace.
Below are some tips to try:
- Avoid jobs that require you to stand hunched over for long periods. Also, avoid jobs where you must twist, turn, reach or bend.
- Jobs that require lifting or loading are not good choices.
- Jobs that have little to no intense physical labor are best.
- Discuss your physical limitations with your employer.
- If your job requires prolonged sitting, be sure to stand up and walk around periodically.
- Conversely, if your job requires prolonged standing, be sure to take breaks.
- Wear comfortable clothing and supportive footwear.
- Exercise regularly, as recommended by your physician.
- Request or purchase ergonomic furniture.
- Avoid jobs that have repetitive motions if this makes your back pain worse.
- If possible, apply heat pads and/or ice packs as needed.
- Flexible work hours, if applicable, may be beneficial.
Asking for Reasonable Accommodations
Employees who continue to have difficulty working may request reasonable workplace accommodations. In many cases, the employers can grant the request.
Here is a list of some reasonable workplace accommodations that may be available to you:
- Modifying your job duties and responsibilities.
- Allowing you to work in another role within the company.
- Allowing you to work remotely.you can stretch and take regular breaks.
Using the ADA
The ADA, or the Americans with Disabilities Act, was created for individuals with disabilities and could be a very useful tool for those with chronic back pain. If your back pain restricts your ability to perform work, you could get protection under the ADA.
With your doctor’s help, you will need to prove that your back pain is limiting to your activities of daily living. Under the ADA, your employer is required to provide accommodations. Furthermore, you are also protected from discrimination.
Qualifying for Disability
Unfortunately for some, the chronic back pain they experience is both too debilitating and unable to treat. In these cases, applying for disability may be the next course of action. If you are found to meet the qualifications, you will receive a monthly payment to support yourself.
If you suffer from chronic back pain and still need to work, there are options available to you. Some of these jobs may require a career change, and you may need additional accommodations to help you be successful at work. The jobs listed above may be better options for you to keep you in the workplace.