000aFibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that can affect you and your small business employees. So how do you deal with chronic pain in the workplace in order to prevent it from affecting your bottom line? 000a000a
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Susan Solovic: Battling chronic pain everyday would be enough for most people to call it quits but imagine battling chronic pain everyday and tying to run your small business. Well nearly 6 Million people in the United States are diagnosed with the chronic pain condition known as fibromyalgia. The causes for this condition are still unknown but the National Fibromyalgia Association says the pain associated with fibromyalgia could begin with any number of things including a viral infection, trauma or an injury or exposure to chronic stress. The American Institute for Stress reports that pain and illnesses are results of job related stress is costing US businesses over $300 billion each year. Dixie Gillaspie: Growing a small business is based on calculated risk and with calculated risk and work comes stress. So if you’re going to grow a small business, you will have stress. It’s a matter of how you respond to stress. Susan Solovic: Dixie Gillaspie owns her own consulting and coaching business and like her, most of her clients are small business owners. Dixie started her own business as a way to have more control over her schedule and her work environment in order to help her cope with the chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia. Dixie Gillaspie: This has been going out for me about 20 years. This started, my father passed away —of both kids and I went home nurse them in so when the pain started nobody thought anything of it, I, nonetheless stress, I was my barely 20s. So before, the chronic pain was tough through it, do what had to be done, stay focused enough on the client but the pain took about back burner and then when I get in the car at night, some pains that I just sit there and cry. Susan Solovic: Chad Estes, founder of ETM Consultants is helping companies curtail the lose of time and work associated with fibromyalgia. His approach is to help people be aware of their movements and change their work habit in order to reduce the pain. Chad Estes: And the way work I work with Dixie, I provide her nervous system with the rough information that it needs in order to create solutions on its own when it needs those solution. Dixie Gillaspie: It’s really small movements that teach that my body connection but there are other ways to move and other ways to handle those nerve responses. Susan Solovic: Buying ergonomic furniture and computer equipment seems like an obvious solution to help reduce chronic pain. However, it’s not just the equipment, the solution is in how you use it. Chad Estes: So a lot of times, they’re just throwing capital equipment at these problems and they are not taking care of the root cause of the problem and that is the way the employee actually moves around their work space and actually “uses themselves.” Susan Solovic: There are a number of ways you can reduce stress related pain in your small business. You can enlist the help of a professional like Chad who can coach you and your employees or there are number of online resources you can utilize as well but whichever method you choose, remember communication is essential. Chad Estes: Addressing it early on and keeping that open line up communication between you, the small business owner and the employee or keeping that line up communication open with the employee and what they are actually feeling in their own bodies. And I encourage employers to be proactive and small business owners could be proactive and heading off problems well before they get to that point of impacting you to that degree. Dixie Gillaspie: I didn’t talk about having fibromyalgia. I didn’t want my clients to think that that pain was going to keep me from being effective. So I didn’t talk about it until I was actually able to cope with it. Susan Solovic: After receiving help from Chad, Dixie has encountered new business opportunities and is not experiencing the same level of pain. Dixie Gillaspie: When you’re in pain and whether you’re front line worker or whether you’re the top of a

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