Work impact of fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia can work
Work impact of fibromyalgia

The work impact of fibromyalgia is very high, you’ll see why.

The fibromyalgia negatively impacts all activities of daily life and obviously the work was not going to escape it, much more if you consider that usually appear in the productive age , between 40 and 49 years .

The employment impact of fibromyalgia in figures

  • Between 17 to 57% of those who suffer from it , develop a degree of disability that prevents them from continuing to work .
  • From 25 to 50% abandon or lose their job because of this disease .
  • 78% of people with fibromyalgia have had, at some point , temporary work disability related to this pathology.
  • The employability of people with fibromyalgia is between 34 and 77%.

What is it like to work with fibromyalgia?

I leave that reflection to you.

While work is considered an important aspect of quality of life , for those with fibromyalgia it represents a huge challenge.

They must deal with chronic pain , fatigue, and sleep disturbances , among many other symptoms ; that place a greater burden on your work .

The fibromyalgia forces them to invest more time and effort to meet work demands that a person healthy.

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They tend to have to live and adapt to unfavorable working conditions for their pathology, generating the risk of overload and increasing the frequency of their crises; and therefore his absenteeism from work .

All these conditions increase their degree of anxiety , because they work in constant fear of being fired, due to poor performance and their recurring disabilities .

Fibromyalgia Symptoms at Work

The symptoms of fibromyalgia are multiple, but those that most compromise working time are pain , tiredness and fatigue .

  • The fatigue usually occurs before they can finish the workday and subsequent thereto.
  • The fatigue occurs when executing a task requires them long.
  • The anxiety and depression appears as a result of the inability to carry out its activities with the same agility than before the onset of this disease.
  • Memory problems make it difficult for them to remember and focus on completing tasks.

Although it is true that the severity of the symptoms influences their ability to work , it has been seen that the symptoms tend to be more severe in non-working people with fibromyalgia than in those who continue to work.

Work activities with the greatest impact on fibromyalgia

The fibromyalgia difficult some work activities more than others.

The most affected tasks are:

  • Those that require staying for a long time in the same posture, either sitting or standing.
  • Those that require a lot of physical effort, strength or muscular endurance, such as working with raised arms, moving boxes or some heavy equipment, among others.
  • Repetitive tasks.
  • Activities with a high level of stress .

These demanding work environments are especially problematic and pose greater risks of occupational disability .

For those with fibromyalgia , the ability to maintain an active work life requires changes in working conditions , given the disabling nature of the disease.

Read more on Living with fibromyalgia


MARRERO-CENTENO, Jesús; MORENO-VELÁZQUEZ, Ivonne; SÁNCHEZ-CARDONA, Israel. Fibromialgia en Trabajo: explorando su Impacto en el Desempeño Laboral. Revista Interamericana de Psicologia Ocupacional, 2017, vol. 36, no 1, p. 9-22.

VITE VERA, Erika Fabiola, et al. El papel de las pautas ergonómicas en el manejo de la fibromialgia. Revista Cubana de Reumatología, 2019, vol. 21, no 1, p. 1-8

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PALSTAM, Annie; MANNERKORPI, Kaisa. Work ability in fibromyalgia: an update in the 21st century. Current rheumatology reviews, 2017, vol. 13, no 3, p. 180-187.

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BRIONES-VOZMEDIANO, Erica; RONDA-PÉREZ, Elena; VIVES-CASES, Carmen. Percepciones de pacientes con fibromialgia sobre el impacto de la enfermedad en el ámbito laboral. Atención Primaria, 2015, vol. 47, no 4, p. 205-212.

work impact of fibromyalgia

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