Environment


Your comfort zone

When you’re in pain, you want to feel comfortable, secure and safe. Your senses can be heightened and you may feel more sensitive to light, smell, noise and touch.

Think for a moment about where you are: Is your space comfortable? Does it provide you with all that you need to live and work without aggravating your pain?

Ask yourself

  • Are there areas or aspects of my home or workspace that make my pain worse?
  • Is the furniture comfortable – at home and work – and does it support my body?
  • Can I adjust the light or temperature to suit how I feel?
  • Are there things around that I bump into or trip over?
  • Is the noise level tolerable?
  • Are my surroundings clean?

Write down any issues that you come across as they may be affecting how you feel and your pain levels.

There may be quick fixes you can do to address some of these problems, e.g. using cushions to help support your body in your chair or using ear plugs to block out loud noises when you’re resting.

Other issues may require more effort and money, e.g. you may need a new mattress, you may want an electrician to install lights that can be dimmed or brightened to suit how you’re feeling, or you may need your employer to get a new chair for you.

If you’re not sure how you can fix these problems, or how you can make your environment more comfortable and less likely to aggravate your pain, you may need to talk with an occupational therapist or physiotherapist. They can provide information and advice to help you.

Personal perspectives

My bedroom is very bright so I use a lavender eye mask to block out the light while I sleep…and it smells nice too!

– Judy

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Musculoskeletal Australia (or MSK) is the consumer organisation working with, and advocating on behalf of, people with arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, gout and over 150 other musculoskeletal conditions.

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