Reducing Pain and Work Burnout

Shared by Dr. Erik Waldeland

Reducing Pain and Avoiding Burnout

As a Chiropractor in St. Louis Park, I help people with neck pain, back pain, headaches and more. Injuries and lack of motion are common causes of pain but there are other factors that can contribute like diet and mental stress. In our fast-paced and demanding professional landscape, burnout has become an all too familiar companion for many employees. Defined as chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed, burnout doesn’t just affect our work lives; it has a profound impact on our overall quality of life. This insidious phenomenon can seep into every aspect of our existence, compromising our physical and mental well-being.

Research has consistently shown the detrimental effects of burnout on both mental and physical health. A study published in the Journal of Occupational Health and Psychology (Shimazu et al., 2018) found that individuals experiencing burnout reported higher levels of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. The toll on mental health is undeniable, but what about the physical consequences?

It turns out, the link between burnout and physical pain is not just anecdotal. A study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research (Nahit et al., 2003) found a significant association between burnout and the development of musculoskeletal pain. This suggests that the stress and exhaustion from burnout can manifest physically, contributing to discomfort and pain in various parts of the body.

Moreover, chronic stress, a hallmark of burnout, triggers the release of cortisol, known as the “stress hormone.” Elevated cortisol levels have been linked to a range of health issues, including impaired immune function, increased blood pressure, and disrupted sleep patterns. Over time, these physical consequences can accumulate, leading to a decline in overall health and well-being.

The impact of burnout on our quality of life extends beyond the office walls. When we are constantly battling exhaustion and stress, our ability to enjoy life’s simple pleasures diminishes. Hobbies we once found joy in may become burdensome, and relationships can suffer as our emotional reserves are depleted. A study in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology (Sonnentag, 2018) even suggests that burnout can spill over into our personal lives, leading to increased conflict and decreased satisfaction in our relationships.

So, how can we avoid burnout and reclaim our quality of life? It begins with a shift in workplace culture that prioritizes employee well-being. This encompasses mental and physical health. Employers should recognize the signs of burnout and implement strategies to promote a healthy work-life balance. This could include flexible work hours, mental health support programs, and creating a positive and inclusive work environment.

On an individual level, it’s crucial to prioritize self-care and set boundaries. Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and mindful practices can help mitigate the effects of stress. Recognizing the value of personal time and leisure is essential for maintaining a healthy balance between work and life. It all boils down to eating, moving, and thinking well!

Burnout is not just a workplace issue; it’s a pervasive force that infiltrates every facet of our existence. Its impact on our mental and physical health, as well as our overall quality of life, cannot be understated. By acknowledging the connection between workplace burnout and diminished well-being, we can work towards creating healthier, more sustainable work environments that prioritize the happiness and fulfillment of employees. Taking care of all facets of life will allow us to feel better and live pain free.



Shimazu, A., Schaufeli, W. B., Kamiyama, K., & Kawakami, N. (2018). Workaholism vs. work engagement: The two different predictors of future well-being and performance. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 23(4), 498–508.

Nahit, E. S., Hunt, I. M., Lunt, L., Dunn, G., Silman, A. J., & Macfarlane, G. J. (2003). Effects of psychosocial and individual psychological factors on the onset of musculoskeletal pain: Common and site-specific effects. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 62(8), 755–760.

Sonnentag, S. (2018). Job-stress recovery: A review and agenda for future research. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 39(2), 259–278.

Our Message

When you are looking for a Chiropractor near you that you can trust, choose one who will not only get rid of your back pain, neck pain, or headaches but who will also guide you to living a healthier lifestyle to keep you out of pain. Our St. Louis Park Chiropractors located in the West End, near the corner of MN-100 S & Lake Rd./Westside Dr., are here to teach you that taking care of your mental health and getting the proper nutrients is just as important as the chiropractic adjustment to stay healthy.