If you have back problems, there is a good chance that you’ve been telling yourself the same old excuses – I can’t do this, I can’t work like this, what am I going to do?
The truth is, you can work in any job that requires minimal physical effort and minimal lifting. Some jobs that are especially suited for people with back problems are customer service, sales, information technology work, and healthcare work. But there are so many more.
To help you find the right job for you, read on! While these jobs are not considered skilled trades, they are all jobs you can do with no college degree.
Work Conditions To Look For If You Have A Bad Back
No matter what your back problem is, it’s important to keep in mind the work conditions that would be comfortable for you.
Everyone’s back issues are different and that needs to be considered carefully when you start your job search. There are lots of jobs that are easy on the back, but some might be better for the upper back versus the lower back. So if you are suffering from lower back issues, your job requirements will be a bit different than those who have upper back issues.
Below are some questions you need to ask yourself:
- Does standing or sitting for long periods of time cause more pain?
- Does your pain only happen when you bend or stretch?
- Do you suffer from chronic back pain or neck pain?
- Is upper back or lower back pain your main issue?
- Are all heavy objects too much, or can you do low-weight lifting?
These factors will make a difference in what would be the best job for you. Now you need to decide which types of jobs will work best for you. While manual labor may be out of the question to the twisting, turning, and heavy lifting that is normally involved, there are many other options.
Do you prefer to work in an office or would you prefer to work from home?
If you are considering an on-location job, it’s important to ask about the work conditions before applying. This way, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether the job requirements are doable for your. It is also recommended that you let potential employers know that you have back issues.
This will prevent any misunderstandings when specific job duties are not completed or with the work that is assigned to you.
If you decide to work from home, you can either be hired as an employee or become self-employed. Working from home means you will be at your desk a lot so it is important to buy the right ergonomic chair to help with your posture and prevent horrible flare-ups in your back pain.
The best jobs for people with back problems
It’s no secret that back problems are on the rise. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, lower back pain affects 30 percent of adults in the United States.
But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your career or life goals.
There are still plenty of great jobs you can do with a bad back! While many jobs are around office work, there are a few other options as well.
Administrative assistants are in high demand both virtually and in the office. Running offices and the lives management teams is always a must, so if you have the abilities – this can be a great option.
They need excellent organizational skills to keep everything organized and ship deadlines on time. Besides, being a people person is another essential requirement as an administrative assistant needs to be able to interact with various stakeholders within the company.
A virtual assistant can also fall under this job description, you would just work from home instead of an office.
If you are looking for a job that will allow you to sit at a desk all day, write effectively, and see results – content writing could be the perfect fit for you. Whether you work for blogs or brands, it is a much-needed job these days.
As one of the most important jobs in today’s marketplace, it is essential that potential employers know what skills and experience you have. This way they can assess whether your profile matches the requirements of the position. You may specialize in newsletters, blogs, or documents.
You will spend long hours at the computer, but a standing desk and frequent breaks can make it a comfortable opportunity.
A job you might not think makes sense, but it does depend on the level of your back pain. Custodians do minor cleaning of commercial buildings and tackle things like dusting, mopping, and collecting garbage. There is rarely the need for in-depth manual labor or heavy lifting.
So, for those that may dread a desk environment – a custodian position may be a good fit. Just let your potential employer know about any limitations you have with the work you can do.
If you’re passionate about writing and want to share your thoughts with the world, freelance journalism is a great way to do it. Freelance journalists don’t need any specific qualifications – all they need are exceptional writing skills.
This makes it an attractive option for anyone who wants to set their own hours and work from anywhere in the world.
There is always plenty of opportunities available for freelance journalists too, especially if you are niche specific. And because demand for their services remains high, no matter what time of year it is, this profession offers long-term stability and security compared to other job options out there.
So go ahead – get up off your chair, pack your bag full of gadgets and notebooks, and hit the road!
A freight broker is a person that makes sure goods are transported from point A to point B. They will prepare shipping and create quotes for trucking services. Learn more about what it takes to become a freight broker with our guide.
The job requires a lot of sitting and phone use so stretching, walking, and ergonomic furniture are a must.
If you’re someone who has a passion for working with glass, then this is the career for you! Glassblowers require good hand-eye coordination and skill, but are a great option for those with back or neck injuries.
While sitting is part of the daily routine, there is no heavy lifting, twisting, or bending that would aggravate a back. Becoming a glassblower does require some training, but it is so worth it.
Graphic designers are in high demand and have many opportunities for progression. You might work on logos, newsletters, website designs, and more. There is always plenty of work for graphic designers and the future looks strong.
With back problems being common among creative professionals, the work environment is tailor-made to suit them. Graphic designers also need strong keyboarding skills as most work involves using a computer or tablet with Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator installed.
Becoming a life coach means you get to help people with a variety of issues they may be having in life. You can work in a specific niche like helping people with divorce or career changes, or you can be a coach of all trades so to speak.
There is a low barrier to entry, and while education or certification is not required, both are recommended.
Becoming a luthier is a particularly awesome option for those that love the idea of hands-on-work that creates beautiful pieces. Luthiers make a variety of stringed instruments, but guitars are the most common. While the job is physical, it is not extreme and can be done both sitting and standing which means you will spend your entire day in one position.
There is also little lifting, and with an easy entry point – it is a good option for job-seekers who have some back pain to deal with.
Medical writing is a fascinating career that uses your expertise in other areas of life. It can be difficult to find the right job, but if you do, it will offer great opportunities for personal and professional growth.
The medical writing industry is extremely varied, so you are bound to find something that interests you. In order to succeed as a medical writer, you will need excellent research skills and good communication skills. You should also have an interest in both healthcare and the scientific process – these are essential qualities for any good medical writer!
If you’re interested in working as a phlebotomist, make sure to have some medical training first. This is because blood samples must be collected properly and quickly if the patient isn’t going to suffer any long-term adverse effects.
A Phlebotomist collects blood samples for research purposes – this can range from studying diseases and illnesses to testing new medications or treatments. Phlebotomists do a mix of standing and sitting which can be great for those with chronic back problems since it keeps things moving.
Learn how to become a phlebotomist here.
With proper training and practice, you can build a pretty successful photography business. While some might think this would be counter-intuitive to being a good job for those with back problems – it can be a great option.
If you have lower back pain that is chronic, it may not be a great pick for a job. But those with other less ever pains the minor moving and bending you do as a photographer might actually feel good on the body. You will be carrying photography equipment, but it is usually not incredibly heavy.
If families are too much for you, work with pets or do landscapes. You can also look into doing editorial work.
Recruiters are usually the first point of contact for those looking for a job. So, it is a career path that will be around for a while and is great for those that have back issues. Recruiters spend a lot of time on the phone and the internet, so lots of stretching and walking should be done throughout the day.
Helping companies find employees and out-of-work people find jobs is not only a pretty solid job, but it is a feel-good job.
Social media specialist
Are you passionate about social media? If so, consider becoming a social media specialist. Working with Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, and more requires a unique talent and passion.
This position requires good design skills and the ability to stay on top of trends in order to create engaging content that will reach and engage your target audience. With some creative flair and a genuine interest in social media, you can build a successful business too! Doing consultations for companies and brands can be pretty lucrative.
This is another job that will primarily be computer-based, so make sure you do those stretches and take a lot of breaks.
Keeping Your Back Healthy
No matter which job you decide to go with, it is important to do some self-care. Taking care of your back is important and making it a priority will help you ensure you can do your job.
Some simple steps to back care include:
- Consider acupuncture which can help relieve pain
- Invest in ergonomic furniture if you will be spending hours at a desk
- Physical therapy can help you strengthen the spine and reduce pain
- Limit repetitive movements
- Drink plenty of water
- Take frequent breaks and stretch, go for a walk, or just pet the dog
Qualifying as a Disability
If you are suffering from chronic neck or back pain you might be able to qualify for disability. The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects those with physical issues that might prevent them from holding a stable job.
To be protected by the ADA, you must prove that you have a physical or mental issue that will limit you from doing activities on a daily basis. Back injuries and chronic pain that have been diagnosed by a doctor might be enough to help you be protected by the ADA.
Once you are protected, prospective employers will not be able to discriminate against you and will need to provide accommodations to help you work comfortably. This can include a flexible workday, frequent breaks to stretch and move, or providing ergonomic furniture and tools to get the job done.